Chicago Bulls All-Star Joakim Noah Talks NBA in NOLA

The free spirit chats with us about his All-Star game experiences.

Last year was your first All-Star game – what are your memories of that?

Just great times, a lot of times with my boys. Not too much sleep. It’s a lot of work too. It’s interesting to see how it’s such a circus. It’s non-stop with the cameras and media. The machine that’s behind it, it’s impressive.

I imagine New Orleans is not helping the no-sleep situation is it?

No, it’s definitely not.

It’s got a bit of a college vibe – does it remind you of your time at Florida?

I’ve had some good times here. We actually played here in the Sweet Sixteen and when we won that as definitely a good time. I love the vibe of this city. You feel the vibe as soon as you get here.

How competitive does the actual All-Star Game get?

It’s not really competitive. Until the last 3 or 4 minutes, that is. I mean, every time I step on the court I give it my all and I want to win.

You recently signed with Adidas – what do they bring to your game?

I’m really happy to be part of the Adidas team. It means the world to me just to have a shoe with a lot of cushion in it because I’ve had foot issues in the past. Adidas just gave me the best product out there. I have no pain in my feet for the first time in a couple years, it just feels to good to wear them. And I’m happy to be part of the team – Derrick Rose represents Adidas as well, and to be in Chicago, I just wanted to be a part of that.

In the spirit of the Olympics, how do you feel about playing internationally? What does it do for you?

I’ve only been able to do it once. Well it’s an unbelievable honor to represent your country, but it’s also tough to play all year. The players that do it – it’s an unbelievable sacrifice. Sometimes when you can’t go people don’t understand and that makes it harder.

Would you ever think about being in the dunk contest?

I’m not really a dunker. I think I’m more of a tip-in guy.

Photos by Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2014)