"You want me to address that?" Noah said at Friday's shootaround in response to a question about an ESPN.com report Thursday that said he told Anthony he could win a championship if he signed with the Bulls as a free agent after the season. "I don't feel like addressing it. I really have nothing to say about it."
Noah was asked if the reported recruiting pitch for Anthony had, in fact, happened, and he didn't deny the conversation took place.
"Doesn't matter," Noah said. "What does that have to do with our team right now? It doesn't matter."
Coach Tom Thibodeau also tried to brush it off.
"It's a bunch of nonsense," Thibodeau said. "People just start throwing stuff out there and then they wait for everyone to respond to it. If you waste your time on stuff like that, then you're not thinking about Memphis. So that's all we're thinking about: 'Think about Memphis.'"
The Bulls play the Grizzlies on Friday night.
Thibodeau said he tries to prepare players for the rumors that can constantly swirl throughout the course of a season.
"At the beginning of the year, at our first meeting, we talk about all those things," he said. "Because it's predictable -- it's going to happen every year.
CHICAGO -- Joakim Noah wore a taped wrap over his ailing right thumb, but he said he will play through any pain he may have.
"It was cool," he said of Thursday's checkup, which revealed a sprain. "I got an MRI. I'm good."
Noah tore ligaments in the same thumb during the 2010-11 season and tried to play through the pain but ultimately had to have surgery a few weeks later. He missed two months.
He does not believe the problems are the same, and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said he was confident Noah's thumb ligaments are structurally intact.
"It's the same thumb, that's about it," Noah said. "We don't have to cut into it. No surgery. Everything's good. I feel good. I'm all right."
Noah went through all of shootaround and Thibodeau is confident he'll remain in the lineup.
"He's good," Thibodeau said. "It's just a sprain. He's fine."
Thibodeau understands that players have to play through injuries at this point in the season. He did not seem concerned that Noah's injury would hamper him in any way.
"I think at this time in the year every player in nicked up in some way," he said. "And then, do you have the toughness to get past it? And he certainly does, so he's got to get out there -- he's done a great job of leading the team. But we need everybody ... from a medical standpoint, the ligament was fine so that was the positive thing about that."
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It is unclear whether Noah will have to miss any time or will be available to play Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Noah injured the thumb during Wednesday night's win against the Detroit Pistons. He didn't want to go into detail about the injury after the game, calling it just a "boo-boo," but he did wear a protective brace on it as he headed out of the Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Bulls have to be extra cautious with the injury. Noah has become their most valuable player and is in the midst of the best stretch of his career. He racked up his second triple-double in three games in Wednesday's win as a focal point on both ends of the floor. More importantly, Noah tore ligaments in the same thumb during the 2010-11 season and had to miss two months after having surgery to repair it.
The key for the Bulls will be to see how he responds to treatment. He has shown a high pain threshold in the past, having played with the ligament tear for almost a month before having surgery in December 2010.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is expected to update Noah's condition after Friday morning's shootaround.
CHICAGO -- Joakim Noah has always been a solid recruiter. He has the type of outgoing personality and charm that people usually gravitate toward. When he was at the University of Florida, former Gators football coach Urban Meyer repeatedly asked Noah to spend time with some recruits that came through Gainesville.
The happy-go-lucky center enjoys the role of pied piper -- which is why it should come as no surprise that Noah reached out to New York Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony during All-Star Weekend, according to ESPN.com's Chris Broussard.
The pair have known each other for years -- going back to their days on the AAU circuit in the Northeast. There's a mutual respect between both players that has gained more prominence in the last couple of years because of Noah's progression into an All-Star center.
The interesting part of Broussard's report is that Noah and Anthony's discussion began in regard to Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. Thibodeau's name has been tied to plenty of speculation over the last year because of his icy relationship with the Bulls' front office. ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported earlier in the season that Anthony's Knicks had an interest in possibly bringing Thibodeau back to be their head coach if and when embattled coach Mike Woodson is let go.
"My belief is he's going to play before this season is over," Funk said Wednesday on the "Carmen & Jurko" show on ESPN Chicago 1000. "No one in the Bulls organization ... they have stuck to their guns that he is out for the season. But I just have this feeling, I don't know why, and this isn't the first time that I've said it, but I really think he's going to play before the season is over.
"At what point [is unclear] and obviously they are going to monitor his minutes very closely if he were to come back. All of those things are going to happen. How much of a factor, whether it's at the end of the regular season or into the playoffs, that remains to be seen. Obviously, there is a likelihood or strong likelihood that maybe he won't play during the regular season. I think he wants to be sure that he's 100 percent, which he thought he was when he came back off that other knee injury, and it looked like he was just starting to round into shape when he hurt that other one."
Rose missed the 2012-13 season after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee April 2012; he played 10 games this season before tearing the medial meniscus in his right knee in Portland on Nov. 22. After having surgery days later, Rose was ruled out for the season by the Bulls. In his first news conference after the injury in November, Rose said he wouldn't rule out a possible return for the playoffs, but he seemed to back off those comments in February.
"I haven't even had a chance to think about [a return this season], to tell you the truth," Rose said on Feb. 12, his most recent public comments about his rehab. "I'm just worrying about my next stage in this process, and that's running right now. I'm on the [anti-gravity treadmill] right now, running on that and hopefully be running without it pretty soon."
Rose has since started running on his own but still has not practiced with the team.
Asked why the Bulls wouldn't rule Rose out of practices for the rest of the season, coach Tom Thibodeau said on Feb. 26: "He's out for the season. I don't know what else you guys want. Again, I think that's a step-by-step thing. He's doing great. He's out for the season. Nothing's changed there. In the end, if he's where it makes sense for him to practice, then that's what he'll do. But he's doing great."
That's why Noah, Chicago's center, approached Anthony over All-Star Weekend last month about joining the Bulls, according to sources with knowledge of the conversation.
The sources said Noah told Anthony something to this effect: You can go to Los Angeles, but if you really want a ring, if you really want your legacy to be about winning, you should come to Chicago.
Anthony responded by telling Noah that he admires how hard the Bulls play and how hungry they are. Anthony also told Noah, according to the sources, that Derrick Rose is his son's favorite player.
Sources said Rose also wants the Bulls to add Anthony and would be willing to help recruit him if he is asked to do so.
The conversation between Anthony and Noah started as a discussion about what it's like to play for Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. With rumors about Chicago going after Anthony as well as about Thibodeau possibly coaching the New York Knicks next season, Anthony wanted to know about Thibodeau.
From there, the discussion turned to Noah telling Anthony he should join the Bulls.
Knicks coach Mike Woodson steered clear of the recruitment talk.
Joakim Noah has told Carmelo Anthony that he thinks the Bulls could win titles with Anthony around. When the Chicago Bulls' center approached Anthony about his future and made what amounts to a pitch, Anthony responded by telling Noah that he admires how hard the Bulls play, how hungry they are, and even that Derrick Rose is his son's favorite player.
The question is whether Noah's logic makes sense.
I think it does. Chicago is a terrific opportunity for Anthony. Here's how it could happen.
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It came with 5:47 remaining right after a timeout was called and his team had finally seized control. That's when Joakim Noah, the player who was on the way to his second triple-double in three games, happily raced toward Snell for a celebratory do-over.
"People were like, 'Why didn't you give him the chest bump?'" Snell said Wednesday night. "Some of my old college teammates, they know why, because I don't do stuff like that. Some people were like, 'Why did you get so mad with the chest bump?' So I tried to keep him happy, tried to do the chest bump."
This time there was no doubt in Snell's mind what was going to happen. As Noah made his way toward him, Snell knew exactly what to do.
"I saw him coming," Snell said. "He pointed at me and was like, 'OK, chest bump.'"
Noah, who took to Twitter last Saturday to say he loved the Bulls' rookies and that they would work on their celebrations, laughed while recounting the latest chest bump with Snell.
"I was happy," Noah said. "[The last one] was bad. I'm happy he worked on it and it worked out well."
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah racked up his second triple-double in three games in Wednesday night's win over the Detroit Pistons, but he also injured his right thumb in the process and left the Palace of Auburn Hills wearing a protective brace.
The reason this injury has to be particularly concerning to the Bulls isn't just because Noah is the team's most valuable player, it's because he tore ligaments in the same thumb during the 2010-2011 season and had to miss two months after getting surgery to repair the injury.
The emotional center wasn't sure when the injury occurred and said he would have it re-evaluated on Thursday.
"Just a little boo-boo," Noah said. "A little boo boo. I'll be all right."
He didn't want to get into specifics regarding the thumb. It should be noted that when Noah hurt his thumb in the 2010-2011 season, the initial injury occurred during a Nov. 27 game against the Sacramento Kings. He wore a taped wrap around the thumb before finally getting surgery on it on Dec. 16.
"I'll see how it feels (Thursday) but I should be all right," Noah said. "I'll just check it out (Thursday), see how it feels, and hopefully I'll be all right."
As far as Noah's on the court play is concerned he continues to have his best run as a pro. He scored eight of his 10 points in the fourth quarter, while also chipping in with 11 rebounds and 11 assists.