Joakim Noah broke his silence with the media since the Chicago Bulls traded Luol Deng, finally opening up about losing his longtime teammate in a trade that was all about business. Noah responded to questions regarding the trade and was open about how much Deng meant to him as a teammate, as well as stating he is not mad at the Bulls for making the decision to send him to Cleveland, via Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago:
"It's hard to say because at the end of the day that's my brother," he said. "And he's not here anymore. That's the way I see it. They see the game differently. They're not out there on the court. They're not out there on the plane. They don't know how much Lu meant to me personally. But I'm not mad at anybody. At the end of the day, the games keep coming -- we're just going to go out there, give it everything we got. There's no tanking.
Deng and Noah had played together for the Bulls since Noah was drafted by Chicago in the 2007 NBA Draft. The two spent six full seasons leading up to the split in their seventh season as teammates.
Noah elected to violate NBA regulations in the wake of the Deng trade, dodging reporters after games. The Bulls were already in a tight spot with Derrick Rose out for the season, and trading Deng for financial relief and future picks with heavy protection only hurts the team further in the present, so it's understandable that Noah would be upset over losing a friend and teammate.
Chicago is currently on a five-game winning streak, winning all three games they've played since trading Deng.