Knicks' Joakim Noah and Jeff Hornacek get involved in physical confrontation at practice
What's the story?
New York Knicks’ big man Joakim Noah and head coach Jeff Hornacek were involved in a physical confrontation and it seems like Hornacek was the one to start this altercation.
In case you didn't know...
Joakim Noah is a two-time All-Star and a three-time All-Defensive selection during his nine seasons with the Chicago Bulls. He was also named the Defensive Player of the Year and also was part of the All-NBA first team in 2013-14.
The heart of the matter...
Stefan Bondy of the New Daily News reported on Saturday that a physical confrontation started between the Noah and head coach Jeff Hornacek on Jan24. According to Bondy, Hornacek started the quarrel by first shoving Noah. Noah was “banished” from the team after this fight. “The disagreement stemmed from Noah’s lack of playing time, and it turned physical the day after he logged only five minutes against the Warriors,” Bondy added.
Due to Noah’s recent poor performances and the argument which took place during practice, the Knicks have been attempting to trade him. But “his enormous contract is too prohibitive” and therefore hasn’t allowed the Knicks to land on any kind of a deal. The Knicks signed Noah to a 4-year, $72.6 million deal in July 2016. Since then he has averaged 5.0 points, 8.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game in the 46 games he has appeared last season.
Noah’s former Bulls teammate Jimmy Butler said “If he’s saying he can play, he can play.”, as per Bondy. “He’s got it in him. I know he’s working right now to get back out there and help with whatever team.”.
The Minnesota Timberwolves would “likely” be interested in Noah as they are led by former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who coached Noah for 5 seasons, and also Taj Gibson who is another Noah’s former Bulls teammate.
The Timberwolves are well in the playoff scene with being at the 4th spot in the Western Conference. They play the Houston Rockets on Friday.
Noah’s current contract stands as a big hurdle for the Knicks to trade him. But if the Timberwolves are interested in the deal, the Knicks should try and get rid of the big man.