After 13 seasons playing in the National Basketball Association, former Gator Joakim Noah is retiring from professional basketball.
Noah signed a ceremonial contract with the Chicago Bulls on Thursday to retire with the team he spent most of his career with. Known as a player who would simply outwork everyone else on the court, Noah’s authenticity resonated with the city of Chicago just as it did in Gainesville during the Gators’ two championship runs with him. The team put together a tribute video featuring former teammates and coaches of Noah and released it on social media to announce the official retirement.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) October 28, 2021
Noah came to Florida as a four-star recruit, ranked No. 73 in the nation back in 2004. After a few years of development and David Lee’s departure to the NBA, Noah found himself in a position to become a key player for Florida. It took a challenge from Billy Donovan to whip Noah into shape, according to EPSN, but he became known for his grit from that point on. Back-to-back championship boosted Noah’s draft stock enough to get him drafted ninth overall.
The rest, as they say, is history. Noah had some memorable years with Derrick Rose in Chicago before injuries derailed the team, and he was voted an All-Star in 2012 and 2013. After leaving Chicago, Noah’s career began to trend downward as he battled injuries regularly. New York and Memphis didn’t work out and his final season was spent with the Los Angeles Clippers, although he only played in five games.