Fred Hoiberg Said One Thing, Joakim Noah Said Another


On Thursday, Grantland’s Zach Lowe mentioned his chat with Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg. It’s not more Chicago Bulls drama, but it’s weird. Hoiberg said that Joakim Noah said something that in fact, was never said.

New Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg is the type of coach that his players can relate to. Joakim Noah is the type of player you want on your team. There’s mutual respect for the other. That’s why this little development between the two is weird.

Before Wednesday’s game in Brooklyn,’s Zach Lowe — one of the most respected NBA writers on the planet — spoke with Fred Hoiberg for a “few minutes”. Lowe and Hoiberg spoke on array of topics, ranging from Hoiberg’s health scares of the past to Lowe trying to see what’s on the rookie head coach’s iPod.

ALSO AT PIPPEN AIN’T EASY: Nikola Mirotic’s Opening Act Makes Hoiberg’s Decision Look Smart

The biggest takeaway from the transcribed conversation was when Lowe asked Hoiberg about his conversation with Joakim Noah about coming off the bench.

“Jo actually came to me and talked to me about that. He said, basically, ‘I’ve always played well with Taj.’ He said he thought Niko and Pau played very well together, so let’s go that route. It was actually Jo that started the whole conversation. He came to me. That says a lot about him,” Hoiberg said.

This was interesting and made Noah seem like his reputation precedes him.

Then, Noah spoke to the media on Friday about Hoiberg’s conversation with Lowe. (Note: This is where things get weird.)

Wait, what?

O…K? It’s still weird.

You can always count on Joakim Noah to tell the truth.

When Hoiberg was asked again about his conversation with Noah before the season began, Hoiberg mentioned that he had an “easy” conversation with Noah and that he likes playing next to Taj Gibson. “There’s two stories out there,” Hoiberg said with a laugh. “Pick whichever one you want.”

More from Bulls News

To make things perfectly clear: There’s no issue here. Hoiberg respects his players’ opinions and leaves things open for his players to have a voice. He’s a laid-back type of coach. (He doesn’t even wear a tie. His health has a little do with it, but he’s the coolest guy in the room all the time.)

The confusion came from Hoiberg mentioning that Noah came to him to talk about coming off the bench. It appears that wasn’t the case, but Noah did mention that he likes playing with Gibson, who has been a bench mainstay for the Bulls.

Noah’s right in terms of the bigger picture, however. The Bulls have two ‘fives’: him and Pau Gasol. Gibson and Nikola Mirotic are two solid ‘fours’ and there’s only five spots on the floor at a time. This whole thing seems like a bit of weird wording and misinterpretation.

(Related: Hoiberg has already said the Bulls aren’t “married” to anything in terms of lineups.)

Once again, there’s no issue. It’s just a little odd.

The Bulls are off to a great start this season and this new-and-improved rotation makes all the sense in the world with a high-energy guy like Noah coming off the bench for the Bulls.

Next: The new NBA Christmas Day uniforms are fantastic

More from Pippen Ain't Easy