Joakim Noah Has Best Game in Light of Attacks in Paris


Friday’s attack in Paris affected more than just the French culture. More than 128 people were killed due to an attack at a concert hall in Paris. Joakim Noah kept that in mind before Friday’s tip-off in Chicago and had his best game of the season.

In terms of playing with emotion, not many — if any — play with more emotion on a nightly basis than Joakim Noah. It’s been a struggle for Noah since the Bulls were eliminated in the first round two postseasons ago, followed by an arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

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But, on Friday night, there were more important things on Joakim Noah’s mind than just his production on a basketball court. A sickening attack on Paris, France stunned the world. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack on a concert hall that has left 128 dead (with the number tragically rising) and at least 180 injured.

“I just know it’s very sad what’s going on in Paris. A lot of people died for no reason,” Noah said after the Bulls win on Friday night. “I’m not really sure what happened.”

Noah may have been born on American soil, but the former defensive player of the year spent a good portion of his life as a French resident. His father, Yannick Noah, was a famous tennis pro in France.

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Not only did Noah take the floor last night in Chicago with Paris on his mind, Charlotte Hornets swingman had his best game of the season with a heavy heart as well. The Bulls won the game, 102-97, but basketball was the last thing on the minds of both Batum and Noah.

“The first thing I said when I saw (Noah) on the court was, ‘Is your family OK?’ And the first thing he said to me was, ‘Is your family OK?’ And we’re fine. He’s fine too,” Batum said during pregame warm-ups on Friday.

“I’m fine, but I’m not because we lost people for nothing, because of stupid people. We’ve got to stay strong. We’ve got to show them, like I tried tonight, through my way that we’re strong and we won’t step down because you’re doing bad stuff to people. We’re going to cry for our people we lost tonight but we’re going to stay strong, keep our heads up and keep moving forward and show that we’re better than them.”

The two French stars combined for 31 points, 26 rebounds (18 from Noah alone) and seven assists.

Sometimes, we forget that these professional athletes have their own personal lives. Many come from different cultures and backgrounds.

No matter where you come from, seeing footage like this affects us all:

Personally, the loud explosion sent a cold chill up my spine when I first saw this video. It was a sickening act from a group of disgusting people.

This video proves that Noah and Batum’s performances go deeper than just the box score. They both had more than just a fan base and their teammates on their minds Friday night. Their families and the status of an entire country were much more important than a November basketball game.

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Noah and Batum both put on stellar performances and it was wonderful to see. It probably wasn’t easy to do what they did on Friday and one can only hope their performances provide a sense of support for the people of Paris.