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Intangibles key to Noah's impact on Bulls' success
There's no truth to the rumor that Joakim Noah bulked up for this season lifting his wallet. But there's no denying the floppy-haired (near) 7-footer entered his fourth pro season with a different physique.
Just look at him. He's thicker. He's chiseled.
Noah, 25, admitted there was some pressure to step up his game, and his approach to training, knowing this was a big offseason. As a member of the 2007 draft class, he was eligible to sign an extension before this season, so he hit the weight room as his people and Chicago's front office talked about the future.
Noah would be one of just five from that draft group -- joining Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Mike Conley, and Jared Dudley -- to sign an extension before the current CBA expires after this season. That Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf committed $60 million for five more years when they didn't have to shows the franchise's, well, commitment to Noah as a franchise pillar.
"It's not an ideal situation for them because of the [possible] lockout coming up," Noah said recently. "The reason he made me sign it was because he believed in me and he really liked me as a person. That meant a lot to me, hearing that from my boss."
And there were all those Carmelo Anthony rumors regarding Noah. Some league insiders questioned the logic of Chicago not willing to part with Noah in a deal for a top-five-caliber talent. The man at the center of the debate dealt with 'Melo speculation, especially as it heated up during September, and reiterated at every turn his desire to remain in the Windy City.
I hate to see MJ and LeBron mentioned together, but this is great:
Video: LeBron x Jordan commercial mashup
Bulls' Rose a gametime decision with neck spasms
Derrick Rose experienced neck spasms and is a gametime decision for Friday's matchup against the Nuggets.
Rose wore a heating pad as he sat in the visitors' locker room before the Bulls' morning shootaround and couldn't turn his neck as he tried to address reporters.
"It's real sore," Rose said. "It started a little before the (Phoenix) game. It's been stiff ever since. If it's up to me, I'll play. But right now, I have to turn my whole body to look a certain way."
Rose, who has missed only four games in his first two seasons, said he planned to get a massage Friday afternoon. He tried soaking the neck Thursday night but that didn't help.
"I've been getting treatment but it hasn't gotten loose yet," Rose said. "I went to the team party (on Thursday) for a little bit, but I left because my neck got more irritated."
Coach Tom Thibodeau said C.J. Watson would start if Rose can't play