Joakim Noah’s exile continues.
Jeff Hornacek, who final week engaged in a heated alternate along with his banished participant, stated that Noah won’t return for Wednesday’s sport at Boston and there is a rising sense that the middle will not be again till after the Feb. eight commerce deadline, on the earliest.
The Knicks nonetheless hope — towards odds — they’ll discover a commerce associate keen to soak up Noah’s albatross deal. They’re additionally balking at Noah’s need for a buyout.
Which begs the questions: If they cannot transfer Noah, would the Knicks wish to deliver again a participant who’s clearly sad and unwilling to simply accept his function? Or, would they be higher off evicting Noah from the staff till his contract turns into extra manageable they usually can ship him elsewhere?
It is a conundrum not a lot completely different from when the Knicks banished Stephon Marbury from the staff — with pay — about 9 years in the past. They could not negotiate a buyout, Marbury was depressing, and he was ordered to remain away. Noah appears headed down the identical path.
Given his expertise and popularity as a fiery competitor, Noah was imagined to be a frontrunner and robust affect over the youthful Knicks. He talked quite a bit about re-establishing his standing as a veteran mentor after sitting out the primary 12 video games due to a PED suspension. However that by no means occurred.
His homecoming to New York has included one depressing flip after one other. From the Knicks perspective, he is an issue that will not go away simply with three years and $55 million remaining on his contract.
Noah was livid about enjoying solely 5 minutes towards Golden State on Feb 23, and that spilled over the subsequent day at apply when he and Hornacek yelled at one another in entrance of the staff. There have been no punches, however a supply informed the Day by day Information that the alternate was “actually unhealthy.”
That is not an excellent veteran instance. Noah’s frustration is comprehensible since he labored onerous to rehab from shoulder surgical procedure, however he has no person responsible however himself for falling behind within the rotation due to the PED suspension.
“We have now 4 facilities after which we most likely have the perfect shot-blocker within the league on the 4 spot and we use KP at that 5,” Hornacek stated, explaining but once more why he did not play Noah. “It is powerful on all the fellows. All of them wish to play extra minutes. It is a powerful scenario to have that many guys at a place.”
Hornacek would not have that downside with Noah anymore. He is exiled. Perhaps ceaselessly.