Tuesday, June 26th, 2007 at 2:00 pm  |  83 responses

Rookie Diary: Joakim Noah

A back-to-back champion’s life…

The SLAM NBA Rookie Diary has a lot of star power this year, with Joakim Noah doing the honors. Without further ado, here he is in his own words.
What’s up, everyone? I’m going to be doing this diary…
all season.

As you probably know, back in April we won our second straight National Championship at Florida. The month after that was so much fun, just a month of partying and having fun with friends. I went back home to New York City for a minute, and I realized that everybody wants a piece of you, everybody wants to party with you and see what it’s like to win back-to-back Championships. People were expecting big things from you every night, and you can’t live your life like that—you have to take care of your body. I mean, if you’re going to win and not celebrate, what’s the point? But you have to draw a line. We partied for a couple of weeks but then we calmed down and started working out again and got back in shape. I worked out with Coach Donovan in Gainesville for a while and then went out to Vegas for the Mayweather-De La Hoya fight.

Vegas was like…
the best time of my life.

We were living in dorms two weeks before that and then all of a sudden, we were ringside in Vegas! The only time I had gone to Vegas before was for tournaments and I realized then that you can’t stay more than a few days out there. After the fight we went to Tao, the club in The Venetian. I gave Mary J a hug in the club! She was showing me love! That was awesome. To me that still feels good. We went to the opening of this beach thing with Jay-Z, 50, Usher. I mean, I met Suge Knight. I was like, What up, Suge? He said, Congratulations! I was like, Oh shit! It seems like people really respect the whole story of us coming back to shoot for a second Championship and turning down the money, of us having a goal and making it happen.

Now I’m preparing for the Draft with…
trainer Joe Abunassar, and it’s a great situation.

I’m also with Corey Brewer, who’s one of my best friends and who signed with the same agent. We’re working out, staying in a complex right by Venice Beach that has some amazing restaurants, pretty girls everywhere and a pool in the complex. But we work out so hard there’s not much time for anything else. We wake up at 7 every morning, start lifting at 8. We’re eating like five times a day—Corey even put on two pounds. I’ve been doing a lot of shooting and a lot of repetitions and conditioning. Personally I feel like I can work on everything. Joe wants to get my game looking more polished, but that’s never going to happen.

From L.A. I’m going to Vancouver…
to do some motion capture stuff for EA Sports.

After that I’m going to Orlando for the pre-Draft camp. And then it’s grind time, when I start working out for teams. I have my preferences about where I’d like to play, but I realize you can’t control none of that because the teams have their preferences, too.

I wouldn’t trade everything I’ve done…
for anything.

We won two National Championships at Florida, did it the right way. We stayed in the complex with all the regular students, worked hard and it really paid off. Now I realize how easy we could have had it in terms of cashing in and going pro and stuff. But now it’s like being a freshman all over again. This is the big boys now.

Joakim’s NBA rookie diary made its debut in SLAM 110 and he’ll be with us all season.

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  • Co Co

    How sweet.

  • http://www.king-mag.com Matt Caputo

    This will be a diary of his one and only season in the NBA, if he gets that far.

  • H to the izzo

    “Cory even put on two pounds”-say what you like about the guy-but thats funny

  • Cheryl

    Good luck, young fella. Hope to see you in Phoenix next season. Eyes and ears open and choose character guys to learn from. You’re a decent writer, also. :-) Looking forward to reading your diary as the season goes along.–ASPOV

  • Steve O

    Did you guys choose Noah just to piss everyone off?

  • white hot eboy

    Cheryl, you’re joking right. This kid is garbage, and his attitude on the court with the Gators was all that’s wrong with basketball today. Grab 4 rebounds a game, score 6 points and scream at the top of your lungs and run around like you took a sh*t in you’re pants when you make 1 good play. He’s going to be lucky to get off anyteams bench for the fact that he has no offensive game and on defense he will be hammered by any physical big. Bad choice this year, SLAM. Maybe his father promised US Open tickets or something else to the SLAM staff.

  • Co Co

    I think they picked Noah more for his personality than his play white hot. They want us to be able to read something that is engaging and funny. Every time I’ve ever seen or heard Noah he’s been just that.

  • http://espn.com Reggie Evans

    Did EA SportS motion-capture Noah’s post-championship dance? That would be off the chainSAW!

  • Cheryl

    oops, I used the sh*t word and got censored. Anyway, white hot, I do think the kid’s personality is a little over the top, but I think after watching him during the March tourneys, that he’ll be a decent defensive player, taking charges and getting points off put backs. On a defensively challenged team like the Suns, he could be an asset. i don’t think he should be a high lottery pick, though and I’m betting he drops a bit to the mid to late first round. –ASPOV

  • Cheryl

    but, daaam white hot, just trying to give the kid a little encouragement. ;-)

  • white hot eboy

    Cheryl, were still down like the Yankees in the standings, but if I’m supporting anyone from the Gators it’s Corey Brewer. Kid reminds me of a cross between Scottie/Josh Howard. Really nice game, and would like to hear from someone who might actually have an impact. Sorry If I cam off harsh towards you. :)

  • Bryant Reeves

    you guys are HARSH! Noah probably isn’t going to be a superstar, but the kid knows the game. He’s going to be a solid contributor for whatever team he ends up on.

  • Chukaz

    This kid is a wanksta (yeah, I said it. I don’t care if you people think I’m going back to ’01). Someone please pimpslam that man and let him no that he is white. I hate to see him on TV ’cause he tries to hard to be cool.

  • Chukaz

    “Joakim’s NBA rookie diary made its debut in SLAM 110 and he’ll be with us all season.”
    Sounds like a treat. And the man is going to suck. He said it himself “Joe wants to get my game looking more polished, but that’s never going to happen”

  • http://espn.com Reggie Evans

    I see nothing wrong with the kid’s enthusiasm. What, you guys want robots?

  • white hot eboy

    He’ll be going down the same path as Sideshow Varejo, a career backup with limited skills, except Sideshow has some balls. (and the same sh*tty offensive game).

  • A-Money

    Stop being so hard on the kid… I mean which one of us here made it as far as he has??? Let’s see what he does and then judge him off of that…

  • Aaron

    People either love or hate Joakim and I don’t know why people hate him. He’s a hard worker and a team guy but I guess people don’t like success.

  • H to the izzo

    I’m not Noah’s biggest fan but I don’t understand why people hate this kind of behaviour but love it from rappers.
    Also Chukaz:He is not white

  • Sparker

    i’m with bryant and cheryl on this one

  • Eoin

    Just do your thing, Joakim.And please, dunk on J-Will a coupla times just to annoy White Hot.Not that it’d necessarily be that hard for you, but it’d amuse me.

  • Dutch Rich

    Chukaz!! Get back in your cage fool!!

  • Steve O

    I don;t know what it is about Noah, but he just rubs me the wrong way. I can’t argue with his success in college but we all know that doesn’t always translate into NBA talent. (i.e. Dook, and wasn’t Tony Delk a NCAA MOP??)

  • white hot eboy

    There must be a bunch of “new” Gator fans here that feel the need to step up for Joaqueen. I have three relatives that graduted from U of F in the last 10 years who can’t stand him either, so I’m not feelin’ the hate right now. Sorry.

  • http://myspace.com/bodiebarnett jbn74sb

    I’m a UCLA fan, so I never liked this kid, but all that is in the past. He gets cracked on for, essentially, being passionate. You knuckleheads don’t seem to realize that every good team needs guys to do the dirty work and hustle all over the court. It is doubtful that he will ever average 20 and 10, but, as his 2 National Championships attest, he will be a key member and contributor for a good team.

  • white hot eboy

    jbn74sb, there’s a difference between being passionate and being an as*hole and he has qualifed as the latter each time he suited for the champs the last 2 years. If he was Greg Oden or Kevin Durant, maybe he’d get some leahway as being the foundation of a program and shouldering the loas each game but to me he wasn’t even the 2nd best big man on his squad and the only time he’ll be doing the “dirty work” in the L is when he’s put into any games at garbage time playing garbage minutes, with his garbage skills. There’s plenty of 6′ 10″ guys that have been drafted that have done nothing in the league and he looks to be right in that same pipeline because of his slight frame and non-existent offensive skills. He’s no Ben Wallace, so let’s not classify him as a tremendous defender and unless he gains about 50 lbs he is doomed to be the next Brad Sellers.

  • kelly

    I really like Joakim’s rookie diary thing! he’ll be great in the NBA love ya Joakim!

  • tike

    Im with Steve-o…slam could of picked someone else and probably should of…As far as Noah in the NBA i see him being a pretty good rebounder the guy needs ritalin for sure…but hey i aint hating…noah got Suge Knight to say congratualtions!…if i were suge i woulda beat that long haired hippy acorss the face

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    To be honest, I was never much of a Joakim fan — mainly because I went to UGA and Florida is our biggest rival. So to see the way Joakim was dancing around and stuff, I immediately started hating. If he was on my team, I’d probably have felt differently, the same way everyone did about Rodman or Laimbeer. We chose Joakim for the Diary for one reason: We thought he’d be interesting and have a lot to say. And he does, as you can tell. More…

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Now, after spending a lot of time talking to Joakim and those around him the last few months, I’m a big fan. He’s a really smart kid, and I wouldn’t put it past him to do all that stuff just to get people to cheer against Florida. I’ve ghostwritten every NBA rookie diary SLAM’s ever done (Drew Gooden, Carmelo Anthony, Andre Iguodala, Ike Diogu and Kyle Lowry), and Joakim is probably the most personable and interesting guy we’ve ever had in (him and Drew, with Melo and Dre just behind). It’s going to be a fun year of diaries. Trust me.

  • http://www.fortheloveofgodgivespurstheringalready+lakersdosomethinganddoitnow=.com Jay

    yea Lang, i seriously hope Hawks draft him. wont that be hot lol. lookin` forward for the rookie diary though. =]

  • http://espn.com Reggie Evans

    Lang: Ghostface Writer

  • Kerri

    Your a HOTTIE Joakim!!

  • kelly

    I hope Joakim has some more great diaries coming up…Hawks need to draft him at number 3! he’s a great player and he will be in the NBA!

  • Kerri

    Joakim needs to go to the Hawks cause its not too far from G-ville so I can go to a game..:)

  • http://aol Maggie May

    Hope you get a team, that fits you, also did watch your father play. Hope the rest of your team-mates get aboard a team that works. Good luck–thursday–night. Will be watching–#1–06, but you did better.

  • http://aol Maggie May

    Being new at this, Up–front I am a Gator-Fan, long time basketball- fan, way before Magic–Mike–Bird, hope he gets a team that–fits him–right like Dennis did, an he will do great. IN todays world, no-one gets a break-luck– will have it most of the way. Am a woman–AND–SENIOR at 70

  • JorEl

    I hope Joakim does NOT go to the Hawks. They have, like, 800 undersized & overpaid forwards on their roster. They draft them and promptly nail them to the bench.

  • Chinese Dan

    no way he’ll go number 3…but hell be an awesome player that i think is capable of takign championship caliber teams to a title. probably why the suns are trying to trade up in the draft to grab him.

  • kelly

    Chinese dan.. he may go to Hawks,you don’t know, you aint in control there..if he does great if not then there’s other great teams to draft him such as Bobcats!,or Bulls! ,etc..but Joakim equals great player.

  • http://breadcity.wordpress.com Bread City

    Noah is the coolest dude in the draft. Hard to say he’s garbage when he just won 2 championships in a row, and he always goes out of his way to compliment his teammates. Some people just want to hate.

  • Edouard

    bonjour, je suis français et je voudrais juste dire à joakim de ne pas oublier le pays de yannick!!voila
    et bonne chance pour la draft!

  • somekidfromCT

    Definitely a love/hate thing going on with this kid. Where some see passion others see haughtiness. I personally get a bad vibe from the kid, rubs me the wrong way. Ill admit however that thats a judgmental assumption (and biased since Im a Seminoles fan). I wouldn’t mind though if he proved me and the rest of the doubters wrong.

  • S. Shaw

    Joakim, is a good kid who is going to work hard and give 100% everytime he sees the floor no matter how much or little that is. Joakim, is the kind of kid who will positively contribute on a team and not cause any issues for whatever team drafts him. Last I checked that’s what GM’s look for in this day and age…an ok player willing to show up and play hard every chance he is given.

  • whooo!

    nice update by lang. it’s nice to hear from someone who actually got to know the guy. already the diary is sounding interesting w/ some of the humor/honesty dude is throwing in, like regarding his ‘polish.’ but why the hell is ea using him for mo-cap!?

  • um…

    i can feel the whole love / hate relationship starting with that young fella already. i like his enthusiasm, but I think it’s high time for him to at least sound like a grown man “party”, “have fun”, “showing love” “pretty girls”. This guy has his brain a little bit too much on the south to me.Other than that, if he can eat humble pie a bit and grow into a professional player/person, why not…I just have the intuition he could be the kind of player who suddenly drops everything just because nba is not enough fun and girls and partying and..well you got it

  • Megan

    Joakim is awesome! I don’t know why everyone is trippin’ about him. His attitude is fine, it shows us that he won’t take nothing he’s tough and will go out and play hard. And all those who don’t like him, lets go see you play basketball as hard working as he does. Don’t be jealous!!!

  • kelly

    hey Um, Joakim aint into all the partying,etc.. he and the other guys did that yes, after the national championship, but who wouldent? he is focused on Basketball!! and he won’t drop “everything” for that he’s not about all that.

  • um…

    i know kelly, he probably isn’t only into partiying and all, but hey, that what he sounds like.only time will tell I guess.he sounds as free minded as his dad was. and guess what : his dad had a successful, but really short tennis career. after Yannick Noah won the French championship, he was never the same again and testified himself that he felt something broke just after that.a couple of games here and there, but no major sucess and he dropped sport, and just enjoyed life (music, charity). i’m not judging, but we’re not talking about a future hall of famer here, that’s just not where he has his mind on. and remember he called the nba ‘boring’ after watching a professional game.stay tuned, i’m telling you : if being a pro is not fun enough, he won’t bother fighting his way through the unfair, tough and material nba world

  • um…

    with that said, i have the utmost respect for what he has done so far. going back to school when green money was making eyes at him and winning it for the 2nd straight time just as he said they would do it tells a lot about the man, his will and character.

  • http://slurp6494.skyblog.com Clement Moulia

    Joakim please, speak in french,1 idem in french please !!!!!

  • Kerri

    Good luck Jo!! I hope the Hawks get ya!!..Ya’ll have some bad attitudes towards him. Yeah hes a hyper kid n’ all…so what..it’s not his fault ya’ll are boring and have no energy or anything.

  • kelly

    Congrats Jo! going to the Chicago Bulls! your an awesome guy!:) you will do well there.

  • http://neoxakira.free.fr NEOAKIRA

    J’ai hate de te voir jouer en NBA, George Eddy va comme un fou dérrière son micro de C+. Avec Ben Wallace tu va trouver un bon mentor pour imposer ta défense et tes contres…

  • Stéphanie

    Good evening Joachim,

    I don’t know, if you still read the comments on your website, where there is your dairy, but I would like you present my congratulations for the “selection” (dit-on cela en anglais? Je n’en suis pas sure). Mon ami m’a dit que tu te sentais français, vu tes commentaire hier à l’annonce de ton embauche dans une grande équipe de NBA, mais j’ai appris que tu avais la double nationalité américaine et suédoise. Je ne comprends pas, car to Papa est français.
    Tu sais, que les français, en général, sont fiers d’être français et la France entière souhaiterais, que tu fasses parti de l’équique de France.
    Bon ourage dans ta carrière

  • Big-Ben

    Heeyy Joakim What’s Up Je Suis Trop Ravie Pour Toi D’étre Aux Bulls Surtt Avec en Wallace Quoi En Fin Du bon potentiel aux bulls . Donne Toi A Fond

  • Maria Alana

    C’est chouette d’etre un Chicago Bull, n’est pas, Joakim? I’m glad you went to a good, exciting team. As our francophone friends have said, bonne chance. You’ll always be loved in Gainesville.

  • kelly

    Stephanie can you type in english…what are you saying,I cannot read anything you had posted.

  • kelly

    Joakim,what a funky suit you wore to the draft!,no matter what those ignornant “haters” out there say, i’ll never be one to ever hate you…your still a great bball player,don’t listen to the negative things you hear. my opinion,you looked pretty cute at the Draft!

  • Maria Alana

    Kelly, this is what Stephanie said:
    (Is that it in English? I’m not sure.) My friend said to me that you felt French, because of a comment you made yesterday during the [draft], but I found out you have dual US and Swedish citizenship. I don’t understand [why you don't have French citizenship], your father is French.
    You know that the French, in general, are proud to be French, and all of France hopes you’ll make a party of your team.
    Good ourage in your career. [I don't know what ourage means. Might be a typo; "bon courage" is, like, break a leg, do well, stuff like that, so that's what she might hae meant.]
    I may say n’est pas when I mean n’est-ce pas, but I think I’ve got the gist right. Joakim, if you read this, sorry for the hijack, and it was indeed quite funky.

  • kelly

    Maria,thanks for explaining what Stephanie was saying. but yes,his outfit was a bit funky,but he’s stil cute no matter what.. but he should do well with the Bulls.. he’s gotta get his right arm bettr from his torn rotary thing,but he should be fine.

  • Metaglobine

    I’m eager to see you play with the Bulls!
    Joakim tu es trooooooooooop mignon!
    euh “just a question”: les mini shorts ne sont plus d’actu? ptdr. non, mais j’ai l’impression que cela t’irait à merveille ptdr
    ps: j’ai même pas pu m’exprimer en créole, ça passe pas :( lol

  • Metaglobine

    Damn! I can’t understand why some people hate this guy (“oh he’s mixed with black and white”, “oh he’s so enthusiastic”, “gaytors”…). Is there a problem? Do they (les “zinitil” enragés) know who he is.
    Is it the price of success? There’s no need. There are idiots wherever you go!

  • Fonzii

    In his first years, Tony Parke had no shooting skills. Now he’s the finals MVP.
    Joakim has no offensive skills, but he has a great heart and he is gonna improve his skills in the next months… I’m sure of that.
    Joakim, we believe in you!

  • Abby


    You have come such a long way it is a pleasure to be a fan of yours. Good luck with your pro basketball career and hopefully we will cross paths again.

  • kelly

    Hey Jo! your gonna do great in the NBA! your an awesome player… GO BULLS and Gators baby!!! and hope your shoulder injury gets better soon!

  • kobe#1

    i wish Ohio State won

  • kelly

    hey again I forgot to add something to my other comment… Jo you will always have my support in your nba career 100 percent!!

  • billi basquetbaäl

    @kobe#1: Ha! Ha! So do they.

    @metaglobine: No offense to Joakim – I’m sure he understands, parce qu’ils sont each other’s boys – but Al Horford est un morceau bien meilleur. ; ) Google image search him… vous regretterez pas.

    @Joakim: You may not be un bel homme like Al, but you’re still mon boy préféré! I’m going to ATL for Bulls/Hawks games, and I look forward to seeing you guard each other. :D
    I’m happy with how the draft turned out… you and Tyrus/TT/Tyger/Tyte can keep each other steady (I have bad visions of y’all, like, getting in fights with Melo, or ‘Sheed, or something), Al and Acie are going to rock Atlanta like nobody’s business, Corey and C-Rich can go parka-shopping together, and Taurean’s going to start on the hottest young team in the West, and get a ring within five years. Gator boys never STOPPED being HOT!
    We love and miss all of you, and hope you all have great careers and lives.

  • bekombo claude

    HI joackim
    i’m very happy of all you’ve done, as a camerounian i’m very proud.You are giving a very good impression of us out there.In fact what’s going on with your french nationality options.

  • bekombo claude

    hi JOACkim it’s steal me from Yaoundé cameroon, very happy you sign your two year contract with the bull.You know they are talking about you here in the country in good for sure, and on saturdays i was in the national cup final the have presented some player abroard and they presented Alfred ABOYA and MBA MOUTHE that you know well (UCLA) ant they talk about you.Keep on going men i hope you shoulder is getting better and you’ll soon be back on the field of action.
    claude bekombo from yaounde cameroun

  • ZouKeuseFrench

    I’m french. I would like to say that J. Noah is a handsome boy.
    If you read that J. Noah, respond me!!

  • http://slamonline dwayne

    that how we do it in florida.

  • http://slamonline D man

    im with dwayne

  • http://millou-19.skyrock.com/ camille

    je tadore forever

  • http://millou-19.skyrock.com/ camille

    sil te plait joakim enrgistre mo dans tes contacts msn je seré ravi de parlé avc toi mon adresse c’est camille.freyssinet@hotmail.fr merci
    je ne diré ton adresse a personne
    mouak je tadoreeeeee

  • Jeffin

    GO BULLS!!!!

  • Gina Lee

    October 6, 2007

    Dear Joakim,

    I was really happy to read your statement, Jocks 4 Justice. There’s a great need to condemn the criminal charges these youth are facing and to strengthen and spread resistance so we can free them.

    I thought you might be interested in finding out about Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party. A statement, “Dangerous times demand courageous voices. Bob Avakian is such a voice,” has been signed by Dennis Brutus, Cornel West, Father Dan Berrigan, Michael Eric Dyson, Chuck D, Rickie Lee Jones, Rev. Earl Kooperkamp and 150 professors, ministers, poets, theater directors, and activists.

    It has been published in the Nation, the Amsterdam News and BlackCommentator.com. Engage! A Committee to Project and Protect the Voice of Bob Avakian, a nationwide network is planning to publish the statement in the New York Review of Books. I encourage you to read it http://www.engagewithbobavakian.org) and to add your name. The deadline for new names is October 16th. You can sign on-line or send the statement to Engage! 1474 University Ave. #141, Berkeley, CA.

    You might be interested in hearing the talk by Bob Avakian called, The NBA: Marketing the Minstrel Show and Serving the Big Gangsters (at http://www.bobavakian.net) or reading the articles by Avakian, including the series, “The Oppression of Black People and the Revolutionary Struggle to End All Oppression” in Revolution newspaper (www.revcom.us), which has extensive coverage of the struggle in Jena, Louisiana.

    Please let me know what you think of the statement and if you have any questions or would like more info, please contact me.


    Gina Lee

  • kelly

    Joakim,your going to do awseome in your first nba game on Halloween night! and to all of you “noah” haters out there maybe your just jeaolus he can play b-ball,maybe ya’ll cant..just give Jo a dadgum chance! love ya.Jo!! i”ll definitely be watching the games!:)

  • hawa

    slt je m’apelle Hawa j’ai 21 ans. J’aurai bien voulu lire ton blog mais moi et l’anglais sa fait deux dsolé!! Bonne chance en NBA.
    Continu comme sa et garde ta joie de vivre!

  • http://millou-19.skyrock.com/ camille


  • AB_40

    ey is he gonna write about his time in jail?

  • nonnyembbiboum

    hi! yooks,i’m from cameroon.all i have to say is:just try to do your best tara.u should play with your hearth,learn from nba’s best players and everything is gonna be right.please stop your criminal actions and put your problems on basket-ball games.