It wasn’t enough for the Chicago Bulls to win 94-82 against the visiting Boston Celtics on Thursday night. Joakim Noah also wanted a triple-double, badly. The big fella, with a smile on his face, expressed regret for shamelessly trying to get the triple dip. Per CSN Chicago:
The All-Star center finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, one dish shy of recording his fourth career triple-double. But toward the end of the contest, with the Bulls clearly heading toward an easy win, it became obvious that Noah’s teammates were gunning for him to get the achievement, something frowned upon when it doesn’t happen naturally, in the course of a game.
“I think probably, I don’t know, three minutes to go,” Noah said of when he learned that he was close to recording the triple-double. “It’s not really good to play basketball that way, where you’re focusing on your stats. It’s not that cool. But I tried to get it. Jimmy tried to force the shot at the end. It’s not a good look.”
But when asked directly whether he apologized to Celtics head coach Brad Stevens for the perception, accurate or not, that his team was playing for statistics, (Tom) Thibodeau’s response was a bit more indignant.
“That was private, what [Stevens] said to me. [Boston] cut the lead at that point,” he said. “You guys [the media] have all that stuff. [Noah] was doing what he was asked to do.”
“I told him, ‘If I was in the game, I would have got it for him.’ I kept yelling at him, but in that instance, guys don’t really look into that stuff,” Taj Gibson said. “Once I told him he had it, that’s when he looked up at it and he realized how close he was. That’s when Kirk tried to get him for him. Lu tried to get it for him before Coach took him out. Jimmy messed it up.”