Hiring former OKC Thunder and Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan for the Chicago Bulls is a move that drew rave reviews from Joakim Noah.
Former Chicago Bulls star center and defensive standout Joakim Noah has a lengthy tie back to the former Oklahoma City Thunder head coach, now hired to be in the same role with this team, Billy Donovan. The Bulls hired Donovan to be their next head coach, as the Thunder parted ways with him earlier this month.
Noah played for Donovan when he was head coach of the Florida Gators basketball program. They even won a National Championship while Noah was playing in Gainesville.
According to a report from K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago on Sep. 22, Noah definitely seems to approve of the Bulls hiring Donovan to replace Jim Boylen as their head coach. This makes sense since Donovan is a proven winner at both the college and NBA levels (at least in the regular season in The Association). It was a bit of a surprise when the Thunder let him go following the end to their playoff run this year.
Moreover, Noah also got to face quite a few of the Donovan coached teams in the last five years. As a member of the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies, Noah got to face those Donovan-coached Thunder teams on a few occasions. But most of his familiarity with the Bulls new head coach stemmed from their time together at Florida.
The hiring of Donovan seems to have generated an overwhelmingly positive response from most parties directly associated with the organization, and/or Donovan in the past. The Bulls fan base also had a positive reaction on social media in the last 18 hours or so since the hiring of Donovan was first announced.
Noah spent the only portion of the 2019-20 NBA season with the Los Angeles Clippers, in the bubble after the restart at Disney World. Meanwhile, Donovan and the five-seed Thunder were bounced in a close seven-game series in the first round of the playoffs by the four-seed Houston Rockets.