In years past it's been what has come out of Joakim Noah's mouth that has gotten him in trouble. Now it appears that keeping his lips sealed could cost him as well. The Chicago Bulls center has maintained media silence since forward Luol Deng was traded from Chicago to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 6.
Noah has said he will speak again after Saturday night's game with the Charlotte Bobcats, but he has been violating NBA rules since the trade was completed.
He has not addressed the matter publicly, but it appears evident that Noah isn't exactly thrilled with Deng's trade to Cleveland. The two players were close, and the trade signals that Chicago is farther than ever from challenging for an NBA championship after Derrick Rose's season-ending knee injury.
It's no surprise that Noah is upset -- Deng had been a Bull since the team drafted him in 2004 and was one of head coach Tom Thibodeau's favorite players. Chicago power forward Carlos Boozer summed up his teammates' feelings on Wednesday, via the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson:
"Quite frankly, everybody's down," Boozer said. "I don't know how else to put it. Everybody's in a tough spot. We're short a man right now, just lost one of our best players. Not even that, one of our brothers."
The Bulls have won both of their games since the trade, and are in the midst of a four-game winning streak.