Former Chicago Bulls star Joakim Noah said he remembers Derrick Rose’s catastrophic torn ACL injury during the 2012 NBA playoffs so vividly that it actually reminded him of the 9/11 terror attacks.
Noah made the comparison in an interview with ESPN in a story published Thursday as the Bulls were getting set to pay tribute to the former All-Star center. At the time of his injury, Rose was one of the best players in the NBA.
Rose was hurt during Game 1 of their first-round series with 76ers in the 2011-12 playoffs. The injury ended the top-seeded Bulls’ hopes of an NBA championship as they lost the series in six games.
“We really believed we were gonna win that championship. That was our time. Derrick represented that much hope. Every time he stepped onto the court, we had the most special player in the world. That’s a lot of hope to carry on one person,” Noah told ESPN.
“When I found out Derrick tore his ACL, I remember the smells, who I was with, everything. I had the same feeling of when I saw the plane hit the tower [on Sept. 11, 2001]. People will be like, ‘He’s crazy for saying that.’ No. I’m telling you how I felt.”
Social media hated everything about his comments:
Noah was named a Bulls brand ambassador ahead of being honored by the team prior to Thursday night’s home game against the Knicks.
On Thursday night, the team celebrated the longtime Bulls star.
“I’m truly humbled to be honored by both the team and city that I have always loved and respected,” Noah said in a statement. “Even more so to be able to celebrate tonight with family, friends, former players and coaches, and most of all — the Bulls fans who helped drive my energy throughout my years in a Bulls uniform at the United Center. It means so much to me that I’m now a Bull for life.”
“I love you all and am thrilled tonight to solidify my continued connection with the Bulls and the city of Chicago, in this new chapter of my life.”