New York Knicks center Joakim Noah was rushed back so he could begin his 20-game suspension this season. The plan worked.
Joakim Noah is cleared to play basketball after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee back on Feb. 27 to remove loose fragments of cartilage or bone.
Noah could have played on Wednesday against the Miami Heat, but due to a 20-game suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug policy, he’ll be out for the remaining eight games of the 2016-17 season.
Ian Begley of ESPN reports that Noah is physically able to play and the suspension will begin on Wednesday. Noah will miss the final eight games of the season, and he will miss the first 12 games in 2017–18 season.
NBA's independent doctor concluded Joakim's physically able to play. 20-game suspension starts tonight. He'll miss first 12 games in 17-18.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) March 29, 2017
The anti-drug Noah was taking was to help his nagging injuries backfired. Noah told Ian Begley of ESPN that he took those supplements to help him this season.
“This was a tough moment, but I’m going to learn from it,” Noah said. “I tried to take a supplement to help me with everything I’ve gone through. I’ve gone through a lot of injuries, and I tried to take something to help me, and it backfired.
Noah was already having a disappointing season. He signed a four-year, $72 million contract.
He played just 46 games in the first season of his deal and averaged 5.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and shot a career-low 43.6 percent from the free throw line.
[graphiq id=”2a47sBdLBCB” title=”Joakim Noah Career Stats” width=”600″ height=”872″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/2a47sBdLBCB” ]
Noah has been regressing for three years straight. His injuries and declining offensive play should’ve given Phil Jackson cause for concern before offering the big man a contract in the first place.
Now 32-years-old, the Knicks are stuck with the veteran big man.
Per Begley, Noah seems to have learned his lesson. Although he could’ve sounded a tad more remorseful.
“I wanted to do something to help myself, help my body and like I said it backfired on me,” Noah said. “I tried to take the right measures when I was taking the supplements, and it wasn’t enough.”
“It’s a tough lesson to learn, but everything in life has its purpose,” Noah said. “I know that right now it’s a tough situation to be in not being there with my teammates out there on the court. But I’m going to take this suspension like a man and move on.”