Joakim Noah wouldn’t deny that he pitched the idea of playing for the Bulls to Carmelo Anthony during NBA All-Star Weekend; instead, Noah claims that the “gossip” is irrelevant. Per the Chicago Tribune:

“I feel a lot of gossip,” Noah said. “I think we all know that we’re in a good place. Our team is in a good place. We’ve got a healthy group, it’s a healthy environment, and we’re not going to let gossip get in the way of what we’re doing. We’ve gone through so much this year, so it’s not going to be a little gossip that gets out there.’’

Noah said “it doesn’t matter” whether the ESPN.com report is accurate.

“What does that have to do with our team now?” he said.

“To me, it’s just a bunch of nonsense,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We don’t pay any attention to it, just get ready for Memphis. First you have the trade deadline. Then you have free agency stuff. It’s all nonsense. We’re just concentrating on our next opponent.”

“It’s predictable, it’s going to happen every year,” Thibodeau said. “And so I think establishing a routine of how you get ready and eliminating all the distractions that could come, we talk about all that stuff before. You can predict when it’s going to happen. OK, as you get closer to the trade deadline, stuff is going to get talked about. Then after, it’s the free agents. It’s always something.

“It’s very easy to get knocked off track in this league if you allow yourself to be knocked off track. The important thing for everybody on the team—and it’s one of the things I think our team has done well thus far—is to lock in on your next opponent, concentrate on your improvement, everyone lock into the team. We feel great about our team.”