• Chandel Smith

Joakim Noah is Home in New York

One of the marquee signings this offseason had to be Joakim Noah to the New York Knicks. This is a big splash for the New York Knicks and I expect Joakim to make a huge impact on the floor and in the locker room. Plus, he is motivated more than ever since he is now playing for his hometown team. The thing about playing in New York, players love it. No matter what lies they (the media) try to tell , playing in the Garden is like no other court in the world. Add that to the fact that Joakim is actually from New York, his new home has always been his home. Playing in NYC means everything to him.

You can see the emotion in Noah’s face. The passion and fire than he is known for is still there. Outside of injured seasons, he has always made his presence felt on the court, especially on the defensive end. Now I expect him to deliver that same attitude as well as look for his own shot a bit more. That attitude that we expect from Joakim is what you can only learn from playing in New York. The experience in Florida and Chicago is nothing compared to courts of Rucker, Gersh, Dyckman or any city court. Why? Because you have to earn your stripes and respect no matter who you are. Noah is the epitome of a city court basketball player, the tough talk, the hard defense and playmaking and of course the smack talk. There is a reason why, for decades, the pro players would spend their summers coming to the hallowed grounds of New York. The demeanor that Noah carries, epitomizes that hustle, grit and toughness that Knick fans appreciate. It is very hard to understand and love it if you haven't had the New York City experience.

Noah arrived a leader, before he stepped on the court. Not a scorer but the fans will appreciate all the intangibles he brings.

Hailing specifically from the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York, I could only imagine the pride he feels when introduced for the first time at MSG.

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