Joakim Noah wins NBA Citizenship Award


Joakim Noah said making an anti-violence video helped him remain composed in an altercation with Nene.

The video also helped Noah win the NBA’s Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award – given to “player, coach or athletic trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community” – over finalists Tobias Harris, Greg Monroe, Chris Paul and Zach Randolph.

NBA release:

Noah, a two-time All-Star center who has spent his entire eight-year career with the Bulls, has dedicated himself to helping children develop a stronger sense of self through his Noah’s Arc Foundation (NAF). The foundation recently launched the “Rock Your Drop: The Drop of Consciousness” anti-violence initiative, which supports those affected by violence and encourages youth to express themselves through creative outlets like sports and art.

NAF also produced the “You’re Not Alone” anti-violence video featuring first-hand stories from those who have lost loved ones to violence, including Noah’s teammates Taj Gibson, Nazr Mohammed and Derrick Rose. Last summer, in his ongoing efforts to raise awareness of gun violence and promote unity in Chicago, Noah and NAF debuted the #ChicagoStandUp public service announcement and hosted a basketball tournament that brought together young men from the south and west sides of the city.

“Joakim’s initiatives to slow the violence in Chicago should inspire us all to help in our communities,” said PBWA President Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel. “His creative, sustained efforts stood out in perhaps the deepest pool of worthy candidates in the 41-year history of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award.”

No matter what LeBron James, Cardale Jones and Cavaliers fans think of how he carries himself at games, Noah has done plenty of fantastic work in the community. That’s what counts here.

Did Noah do more in the community than anyone else in the NBA? Tough to judge from the outside. The Professional Basketball Writers of America (which voted on the award) deemed him No. 1, at least. The Bulls big man seems as worthy as anyone.

Mostly, I’m encouraged by Robbins saying this might be the deepest pool of candidates in the award’s history. It seems NBA players have become increasingly involved in their communities, and that’s definitely a good thing.

PBT Extra: Vintage LeBron James too much for Bulls


This is why it’s good to have the best player in the world on your team — he can just win you games.

LeBron James did that for Cleveland in Game 5 — he was everywhere at both ends, scoring efficiently and then blocking Derrick Rose’s shot near the end. His energy never let up all game. It helped that Kyrie Irving was knocking down shots, too, but this was all about LeBron. He put the Cavaliers up 3-2 in the series.

Cleveland may need that LeBron again in Game 6. Expect the Bulls — with Pau Gasol back — to put up a fight. But as good as Jimmy Butler is, he can’t contain an attacking LeBron. Nobody can. But the Bulls will try again to make him less efficient, if the unstoppable LeBron shows up their efforts may be in vain.

Pau Gasol says he will play for Bulls in Game 6


The Bulls needed Pau Gaol in Game 5 — they needed anyone who can score, and they needed more bodies up front with Taj Gibson ejected and Nikola Mirotic going into a funk.

They will have him for Game 6 — a must win for the Bulls. Via Vincent Goodwill of

Gasol had a good Game 1 in this series, but his defense has been an issue — the Bulls are 4 points per 100 possessions worse defensively when he has been on the court this series. That said, the offense jumps 7.6 points per 100 and the Bulls need the points and need the depth right now. More Gasol can mean less Mirotic, who has played very poorly of late.

Chicago has a legitimate shot to force a Game 7 at home, if they can get a few more points, if Derrick Rose plays like the guy from the first quarter before the shoulder injury, and if Chicago can find a way to keep LeBron James from being so efficient, like he was in Game 5 (easier said than done).

Then in a Game 7, anything can happen.

LeBron flies in to reject Derrick Rose’s game-tying shot (VIDEO)


The Cavaliers held on for a critical Game 5 victory over the Bulls to take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, and not surprisingly, it was largely due to the play of LeBron James.

Chicago battled back from a 17-point fourth quarter deficit to trail by just two with under a minute to play, and after a missed three from Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose had a full head of steam coming down the floor in transition.

It appeared as though Rose would be able to get close enough for an uncontested runner from a few feet away, but as he elevated for the shot, James came flying in seemingly out of nowhere, and hung in the air long enough to swat the ball out of bounds.

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LeBron finished with 38 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, three steals, three blocked shots — and zero turnovers.

Cavs ride huge LeBron James performance to crucial win, take 3-2 series lead over Bulls


Through the first four games of the Bulls-Cavs series, LeBron James has been the first to admit that he needed to be more efficient. He hit a miracle buzzer-beater to win Game 4, but he scored his 25 points in that game on 30 shots.

Game 5 was a different story. James was a monster on Tuesday, doing a little bit of everything on the way to 38 points on 14-of-24 shooting, 12 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, 3 blocks and — most crucially — no turnovers.

After early foul trouble from Jimmy Butler, James scored 16 points in the second quarter, taking advantage of the defensive matchups of Tony Snell and Kirk Hinrich. It’s hard to beat the Cavs when LeBron is playing like this.

In another encouraging development for Cleveland, Kyrie Irving appears to have a pulse again. After foot problems held him to 2-of-10 shooting in Game 4, he moved much better in Game 5. He finished with 25 points on an efficient 9-of-16 shooting and had five assists, after taking heat in the previous two games for putting up zeroes in that column.

The Bulls jumped out to an 8-0 start at the beginning of the game but couldn’t keep up the momentum, trailing by one at the end of the first quarter and finishing the night shooting 39.5 percent from the field and 28 percent from three-point range.

The Bulls, who have been without Pau Gasol for the last two games, weren’t able to find efficient offense from anyone outside of Jimmy Butler, who finished with 29 points and 9 rebounds. Derrick Rose cooled off after a hot start, shooting 5-for-7 from the field in the first quarter but making just two more shots the rest of the night and finishing 7-for-24.

Despite being outplayed at both ends, though, the Bulls were still very much in this game at the end. They trailed by two with under a minute to go, but a missed three-pointer by Butler cost them an opportunity to take the lead. They were only able to score two points the rest of the night, and from there, they were forced to play the foul game.

Now, the Bulls’ season is on the ropes heading back to Chicago on Thursday for Game 6. It’s do or die for them, and maybe for Tom Thibodeau’s time in Chicago.