Joakim Noah, who recently signed with the Clippers for the rest of the season, might have joined the team earlier if not for an accident in September, writes Garrett Chorpenning of Sports Illustrated. Noah had a workout scheduled, but was forced to cancel after getting hurt.
“In September, I had a freak accident and cut my Achilles, and you know, I told myself that that’s just not how I wanted to end my career,” Noah told reporters today. “So you know, the day after the surgery, I was in the gym working out with the hope of making this team. I knew that if I didn’t keep training and if I got a call from the Clippers and I wasn’t ready, I knew I would have regrets for the rest of my life. … Being in a position to win a championship, it’s not something that I take for granted.”
The 35-year-old center finally joined the team on a 10-day contract in March, just two days before the hiatus began. Late last month, he signed a deal that covers the remainder of this season and is non-guaranteed for 2020/21.
There’s more regarding the L.A. teams:
- Clippers guard Lou Williams was “50-50” about coming to Orlando, but respected the results of a team vote, tweets Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN. “We decided our decision was going to be everybody or nobody,” Williams said. “… We decided to come as a group. I’m part of the group. I have a lot of thoughts, ideas I felt strongly about personally, but I represent a group.”
- After not traveling with the Clippers to Orlando, Kawhi Leonard joined the team last night, tweets Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Coach Doc Rivers said he hasn’t decided what to do with Leonard’s minutes yet, but having a fully healthy team will make it easier to rest him, tweets Jovan Buha of The Athletic.
- Lakers star LeBron James will wear his name on the back of his jersey rather than one of the league-approved messages regarding social justice, according to ESPN. James said the available options “didn’t seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal.” He adds that he never feared that the NBA wouldn’t finish its season. “No, never crossed my mind that we did not need to play this beautiful game of basketball that brings so many people together,” James said. “That brings happiness. That brings joy to the households of so many families.”