I can honestly say the way I feel today is probably the exact opposite of how I felt the day you were drafted by the Bulls. Long-haired, out of control body, everything about you was just awkward to watch. You were a big deal in college but I never really bought into the hype, especially after the Ben Wallace fiasco where he called a players only meeting to suspend you for your behavior.
It changed very quickly. Most people can point at the moment when you stole the ball from Paul Pierce in Game 6 of the 2009 NBA Playoffs in the third overtime as you took only three dribbles to cross 3/4 of the court to slam it down and manage to foul-out Pierce. That day is when you won over the hearts of so many Chicago fans, and they’ll never lose love for you no what name it says across your chest.
Honestly, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m very happy that you’re joining the Knicks. Obviously I’m sad to see you go. But, I’m just glad you get to return home to New York. You get to join Derrick Rose, a duo that’s been strong since 2008. You guys have been friends on/off the court, not many duos can say that. You’ve supported him throughout his injuries and were able to combat the media. New York media are savages compared to Chicago, so Derrick will need you now more than ever. I’m mostly happy for you because you get to start fresh and away from our dysfunctional team. Of course I want to see you retire in a Bulls jersey, but you deserve more. At age 31, there should be a championship roster put around you, not a rebuilding one. You deserve to compete while you’re able to. And hey, get that money. If they’re offering you that deal to play in your hometown next to your best friend? That’s the best case scenario for you, brother. I’m happy for you.
I want to thank you for the service you’ve done for Chicago outside of basketball. The Rock Your Drop was just incredible. So many teenagers dying left and right in Chicago for the dumbest reasons. You’ve taken it upon your shoulders to make a difference. You’ve had other athletes promote your campaign. You cared about this city more than the city cared about itself. Everything you stood for off the court was peace. This is who we fell in love with.
A player with almost no skill has turned himself into a 2x Allstar. What a story and inspiration. You spoke your mind. Cleveland sucks, Miami is Hollywood as hell, calling out KG are just a few of a thousand memories I’ll have of you. When I think of Joakim Noah, I think of a player pounding his chest, screaming, and muscles ripping out of his body because he had a tip-in And-1. You were our Dennis Rodman, for the fans who didn’t get to watch Rodman live.
I cringe every time I look at your Instagram photo wearing a Knicks hat. But, it is what it is. You are our Defensive Player of the Year, you are our warrior, you are our heart and soul of Chicago.
I wish you the best,