Joakim Noah Makes Columnist Eat His Words, Literally

11.13.09 8 years ago 10 Comments

We all know that hindsight is 20/20.  But for Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Morrissey, it also tastes like salsa.

Joakim Noah could not play. He was soft, had the shooting form of a fourth-grader and simply didn’t have game.

Of this, I was certain on Draft Day 2007. I couldn’t have been more certain if the late Wilt Chamberlain had called from his water bed in the sky to tell me Noah was a 6-foot-11 fraud.

Above my column the next day was a photo of Noah in a bow tie and a seersucker suit, his tangled hair sticking out Bozo-like from the sides of a Bulls cap as he shook hands with NBA Commissioner David Stern. The instant-classic headline: “You must be Joakim.”

Well, who’s joking now?

I stand before you a humbled man, having been set straight by a Bull who possesses energy, heart and, yes, ability.

I was wrong.

Joakim Noah can play.

In that ill-fated jumble of words from June 29, 2007, I wrote that if in three years I realized I was off-target about the University of Florida center, I would drizzle salsa on the column and eat it. I wrote it never expecting to do it. On Monday, I showed up at the Berto Center with the offending column and some hot sauce, and ate my words, with Noah watching at my side and rookie James Johnson looking on. – Rick Morrissey

I can’t front, Noah was extremely annoying in college, but at no point did I ever think he’d be a bust.  I mean even while he was in college, Anderson Varejao was a poor man’s Joakim Noah.  Head to three minute mark to see things get under way.  Noah’s in attendance and is doing all the goofy dances and outbursts that may have distracted some people from recognizing his abilities on the court.

I never thought Joakim would become a perennial All-Star, but I assumed he’d have a nice 10+ year career.  And for that (along with keeping my mouth shut on draft day) I get eat my salsa with tortilla chips.


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