It’s been stated on this very site that the elite big men in the NBA have gone missing, but I think it’s time to re-examine that issue.
Are the days of big men getting 30 points and 15 rebounds on a nightly basis gone forever? Probably, but the game has also evolved a bit, and big men are now having to find new ways to contribute to their teams’ success. When it comes to the center position, this contribution has become harder and harder to come across. Thankfully, we’ve got Joakim Noah to lean on, and on a Sunday afternoon when the NBA forced bad Spanish upon the masses, the former teammate of Lenny Cooke proved to the world that he might be the best center in the game.
“I think that he’s playing phenomenal. I think that he could have had a couple more triple-doubles this year if he really wanted to. He’s so unselfish as far as his rebounding ability every night. And his scoring ability now this year, I think that he could do that every night. He’s having a hell of a year. He’s pushing us, we’re pushing him. We’re having fun. We’re making each other better. And the sky’s the limit for him. He still hasn’t even reached his ceiling yet.” — Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson
This quote was uttered after Noah posted an egregiously awesome 13-point, 12-rebound, 14-assist, 2-steal, 2-block box score. In the current day of the NBA where Dwight Howard told the world that he only can thrive when his teammates “throw the ball at the rim,” where Marc Gasol’s been in and out the lineup all season and Roy Hibbert’s only as good as his verticality will allow him to be, Noah might have the edge over all of them. At the very least, he does for the 2013-14 season.
The Chicago Bulls embarrassed the embarrassing New York Knicks 109-90 on Sunday, and with every week becoming more crucial as the end of the NBA season draws near, Los Bulls (Toros?) seem destined for a No. 3 or No. 4 seed. (Plus they got The Jimmer off the waiver wire?) Don’t be surprised if you see Indiana or Miami jockeying for position to not only get the home-court advantage in the East, but they also just might try and avoid Chicago in the second round. This is all because of Joakim Simon Noah. All hail.
Props to Oakley and Allen for the dope mix of Noah’s performance Sunday. Here’s your pertinent reading material for Monday. Get that week started off right.
How Slaves Shaped American Cooking — National Geographic
On Iverson Vs. Garnett, Allen Iverson’s Last Game As A Free Man At Nike’s 1993 All Star Game — Smoking Section
The Secrets to Winning an Academy Award — The Atlantic
Rajon Rondo: A Self-Created Problem — Sports on Earth
Liverpool admits that Suarez had a release clause and Arsenal activated it — 7am Kickoff
Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”