Chicago Bulls canter Joakim Noah said Thursday that getting a middle finger thrown into his face as he walked off the court after getting ejected in Game 2 on Wednesday against the Miami Heat wasn’t fun but it wouldn’t ruin his day.
“Do you have fun when somebody sticks their middle finger in your face?” Noah said to ESPNChicago.com.
Noah acknowledged that every NBA player has dealt with hostile treatment since their days playing in high school.
“It’s all good,” he said. “It’s all part of the process. It’s all part of the process.”
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said the entire team has to keep their on-court composure.
“Not only Joakim, but our entire team,” Thibodeau said. “We’ve got to do better, do a better job with that. You can’t get sidetracked. We know how it’s going to be called. We’re not going to get calls. We just got to be tough mentally, physically, emotionally. We’ve got to be a lot stronger.”
“You can’t get wrapped up in stuff that’s not important,” continued Thibodeau. “The important stuff is to concentrate on doing your job and to have the toughness, the physical and mental and emotional toughness, to get through all the things that you have to go through on the road. For the most part, Jo has done a good job with that, but as a team we let our emotion get to us. We can’t do that.”
Noah said the team would be ready to play in Chicago after the Bulls were handed their worst playoff loss in franchise history.
“We didn’t play well, but it’s not the end of the world,” Noah said late Wednesday, via the Chicago Tribune. “It’s 1-1 and it’s going to be a big Game 3 in Chicago.”