Joakim Noah’s former teammate Jimmy Butler says that the banished big man wants to be back on the court following his physical altercation with Jeff Hornacek.
New York Knicks center Joakim Noah has been away from the team since the beginning of February due to an altercation between Noah and Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek. The former Defensive Player of the Year has been relegated to the end of the bench all year despite being one of the highest paid players on the Knicks.
According to NY Daily News’ Stefan Bondy, Noah’s leave of absence was a result of a physical altercation between the player and coach in which Hornacek pushed Noah. It’s looking like the relationship may be broken beyond repair, but that doesn’t mean that the ultra-competitive Noah is content to stay home and watch Knicks games on MSG.
Bondy spoke with Noah’s former teammate, Jimmy Butler and according to Butler, Noah wants to get back on the court. Butler told Bondy:
If he’s saying he can play, he can play…He’s got it in him. I know he’s working right now to get back out there out there and help. With whatever team.
Butler’s comments are not surprising at all. They do more to confirm what most of us already assumed, but they don’t give any insight as to what Noah’s immediate future will be. In all likelihood, the Knicks will leave Noah at home for the remainder of the season and then reassess the situation in the offseason.
Knicks fans have been very critical of Noah during his tenure in New York, mainly stemming from his exorbitant contract, but it’s tough not to feel for the guy. He went from being an All-NBA player a few years ago to the last guy on the bench of a team mired in the bottom half of the league.
Hopefully, at the conclusion of the season, the Knicks organization and Noah can come to an agreement that is best for both parties.