Since he came into the league, Joakim Noah has stayed true to his French roots and worn Le Coq Sportif shoes, the company his tennis star father helped make famous back in the 1970s.
No more — Noah is an adidas guy.
This had been rumored for some time but he officially signed on the dotted line Monday, the company announced.
“Joakim has demonstrated the work ethic, passion and attitude that make him a perfect fit for the adidas brand,” Chris Grancio, adidas head of global basketball sports marketing, said in a released statement. “When you watch him play, his competitiveness and love of the game is contagious on the court and we’re excited to partner with him as he enters the prime of his career.”
Noah joins Derrick Rose (the guy adidas is really counting on to sell shoes) as well as Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, Damian Lillard and others with adidas. Seven Bulls players have adidas ties including Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson.
Noah will miss some preseason games to start the season as he battles a groin injury but is expected to be ready opening night.
The bigger long-term issue with Noah is an annual battle with plantar fasciitis — the right shoe can help with that (not always solve it, but shoes can help aggravate the situation). The Bulls are already talking about reducing Noah’s minutes this season to help with this, but we’ll believe that when Tom Thibodeau doesn’t have guys leading the league in minutes played until they break down.
Whatever happens, Noah has got himself a new pair of kicks for the season.