Outspoken Chicago Bulls big man Joakim Noah is always great for a soundbite, particularly when it comes to the Miami Heat.
“At first I said I didn’t care, but I was lying to myself,” Noah told For The Win at The Steve Nash Foundation Showdown in New York City Wednesday night. “I was driving in my car and I just didn’t feel good about it at all after they won.
“Well you know what? It’s going to be extra motivation to work extra hard in the offseason and I feel like we’ll be the team that beats them next year.”
The Heat have been a major hurdle for the Bulls as Chicago has attempted to return to the NBA Finals for the first time since Michael Jordan retired. This past season, Chicago snapped Miami’s 27-game winning streak and won Game 1 of the team’s Eastern Conference semi finals match-up. But the Miami went on to win the next four games on its way to a second-consecutive championship.
Despite the setbacks, Noah is clearly using these setbacks as motivation.
“I think we’re pretty close,” Noah said. “We got a lot of work to do. We don’t like them, they don’t like us, but at the end of the day, you gotta give credit where credit is due. They’re a very good team, but we feel like if we’re healthy, we’ll have our shot.”
By “healthy,” he means former MVP Derrick Rose at full strength. Very few can do what Rose can do on a basketball court, and having him with the ball in his hands immediately makes the Bulls a massive threat to the reigning champs.