New York Knicks center Joakim Noah acknowledges that he’ll most likely be coming off the bench once he returns from his PED suspension, and the former Defensive Player of the Year is looking for a bounce back campaign after a disastrous first year in the Big Apple.
“That’s probably what it’s going to be,” Noah told the Daily News when asked if he’s coming off the bench this year. “Right now we have a lot of talented players at my position. That’s just the reality. So it’s about being as supportive as possible, and then when my number is called going out there and making an impact.”
Noah signed with his hometown Knicks in the summer of 2016 on a lucrative four-year, $72 million deal — eager to regain his old form and help New York get back to the postseason.
Unfortunately for Noah, he was a complete non-factor on the court for the Knicks when he played and his season came to a bitter end.
Noah underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in late February, the same knee he had a procedure on in 2014 when he was with the Chicago Bulls.
The two-time All-Star also had his second shoulder surgery and was suspended 12 games for the aforementioned PED incident.
In 46 games he played in 2016-17, Noah averaged a meager 5.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. The 32-year-old veteran says he wants to make amends for what has transpired and is set for this next challenge in his career.
“I’m dealing with a lot of adversity right now,” Noah said. “It’s just where the cards fall. It’s like being a rookie all over again. I have to prove myself. And I have to prove myself everyday. It’s a challenge. It’s a challenge I put myself in. It’s a different mentality. It was a blessing just to be able to do the whole training camp every day. So I feel like I’m in a good place. I just want them to see how I deal with my adversity and I think that’s showing the young guys stuff.”