10:03 AM CDT, March 26, 2012
Quick, someone tell Joakim Noah that he now needs to apologize for his silly attempt at apologizing to an official.
“I just want to apologize to the referee,’’ Noah said after Sunday’s practice. “I was wrong. I was frustrated after the call and I overreacted. I feel bad for what happened. I just hope he reads this and accepts my apology.’’
Noah got his second technical foul late in the first half against Toronto on Saturday night, then tossed the ball in the direction of referee Derrick Collins. Noah didn’t hit the official, but he was close enough to fear a suspension.
Turns out, he was merely fined for the two technical fouls and the act that followed Saturday
Truth is, he ought to be fined for his silly act Sunday, too. Noah used the right words, but he did it all wrong. I mean, nothing says sincerity like an out-of-breath spouting of words after practice. Nothing says sincerity like “I just hope he reads this and accepts my apology.’’
Throw a ball in the ref’s direction, throw an apology in the ref’s direction --- Noah must really, really mean it.
Maybe it’s me, but you don’t apologize half out of breath after a practice while talking with the media and hoping --- hoping --- the ref reads it. No, you get on the horn and call the guy. Make an effort, huh?
Noah might as well have said, “Yeah, look, I’m sorry, and now I have to hurry home for a ‘CSI’ marathon.’’
Aside from wondering when there isn’t some kind of “CSI’’ marathon running, Noah ought to realize he’s the kind of guy who makes himself a target just by being himself. He’s emotional and active, which make him valuable to the Bulls and vulnerable to acting out of frustration.
But Noah also acts out of elation, too, waving his hands like they’re pistols while running down court after making a big shot. Sorry, but that’s taunting. If it wasn’t something for which officials should T him up, it might be now. This isn’t recess and you can’t act like a brat.
Noah isn’t a whiner like Dwyane Wade. Noah doesn’t cry to officials on every call the way Wade does. I believe there’s a by-law in the NBA constitution demanding that stars act like 2-year-olds, no matter how obvious, tiresome and often.
But Noah isn’t a star. He doesn’t benefit from the NBA’s double standard. Heck, his team’s superstar, Derrick Rose, doesn’t even benefit from that yet. The Bulls already trail the Miami Heat in the way officials cater to superstars. Now the stripes might have another reason to see a block/charge LeBron James' way. Compounding one bad act with a mindless attempt at an apology seems as lame as Noah’s shooting form.
This Bulls team has won a bunch of games despite a bunch of injuries, most notably the imagined starting backcourt that was just voted First Team All-HMO. This Bulls team doesn’t need additional personnel losses for throwing hissyfits. This Bulls team doesn’t need to give officials reason to target its best rebounder.
It might not be a big deal, but still, this is palm-to-forehead stuff. Maybe that’s it: a dopey move from an alleged adult.
Look, save the emotion for loose balls. Holster your fingers and figure out the difference between sincere and second-hand.
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