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Bulls Bench Noah for Second Game

By Margaret Lyons in News on Jan 14, 2008 11:35PM

2008_1_14.joakimnoah.jpgThe Bulls are 14-21 as we near the half-way point of the season, and a crummy record seems to be reflective of a crummy locker room. The league suspended Joakim Noah for a game for shouting at assistant coach Ron Adams on Friday, and his teammates unanimously voted yesterday to suspend him for another game. He watched the Hawks bitchslap the Bulls from a chair behind bench, in street clothes.

Noah hasn't had the smoothest transition into the NBA. He's been fined for being late, and has rubbed some veteran players the wrong way. Overall, though, he seems pretty contrite.

I mean, I've just got to accept it. What do you want me to say? I'm a rookie. ... I mean, it is what it is. I've just got to move on, and there's nothing I can do about it. ... Do I agree with it? That doesn't matter or make a difference. I respect my teammates and respect their opinions and stuff like that. They told me what I did was unacceptable. I just have to deal with it and move on.

He says he's not going to hold a grudge, and according to Ben Wallace, the rest of the team isn't either.

Our big thing is, regardless of what happened between a coach-and-player relationship, you should always have respect for a grown man. A coach-player relationship is built to get a little volatile and hostile, but it should never go to that level. We have to be responsible for each other. We feel we're becoming a close-knit group and a family-type atmosphere. It's up to us to police ourselves and hold everybody accountable for their own actions. We thought it was something that everybody should know that it was unacceptable.

We're not saying he doesn't deserve a suspension, but shouldn't management be handling that kind of thing? Even Noah was surprised, saying "I didn't know players could suspend each other." [S-T 1, Trib, S-T 2, AP, image via The Bulls]