Posted November 08, 2012

Magic upset over Joakim Noah’s garbage-time burger try

Ben Golliver, Chicago Bulls, Joakim Noah, Orlando Magic

The Magic feel Joakim Noah violated an unwritten rule with his late shot. (Gary Dineen/Getty Images)

By Ben Golliver

It’s time for the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association to add a new “B-list” item for the next round of labor negotiations: protocol governing the pursuit of fan promotions in games that have already been decided.

Stick with this one, because it’s hilarious.

During the closing seconds of the Bulls’ 99-93 victory over the Magic on Tuesday night, center Joakim Noah launched a three-pointer in an attempt to win free Big Macs for the United Center crowd. As part of a promotion, fans receive a free burger whenever the Bulls break 100 points.

ESPNChicago.com reported that Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau did not believe Noah should have attempted the shot, considering the game was already in hand with four seconds remaining, and that Noah felt “regret” over his failed attempt.

“I regret it a little bit,” Noah said. “It wasn’t a good shot.

“You have to respect the game because you never know what can happen in a game. I just got caught up in the moment and I was trying to get the people a Big Mac. They really wanted a Big Mac (judging by how loud the crowd was getting) and I felt like, not only did I take the shot and miss the shot, we didn’t even get the Big Mac. Next time, I won’t take that 3-pointer.”

Noah, 27, has never made a three-pointer in 365 NBA games (regular season and playoffs).

The Orlando Sentinel reported that multiple Magic players were peeved by Noah’s attempt, which did violate the NBA’s unwritten end-of-game rule: If the losing team doesn’t foul in the closing seconds of a game that is decided, the winning team doesn’t attempt another shot, even if a shot-clock violation is the result.

“It was unnecessary,” Magic shooting guard J.J. Redick said when he was asked Wednesday night about Noah’s shot.

Orlando point guard Ish Smith said: “We noticed, and hopefully it won’t happen again.”

The funniest part here: Noah goes home with everyone mad at him. The Magic think he’s a poor sport. His coach thinks he should know better and show more professionalism. And, perhaps most important, Bulls fans go home upset that he didn’t even hit the shot to deliver the goods. Brutal.

This is no isolated incident. Teams across the league have various giveaways for reaching a certain number of points or for holding an opponent under a certain number of points. Old-school coaches like Thibodeau would surely prefer the entire concept was squashed. Meanwhile, the marketing folks and team partners would inundate the game experience with this type of interactive sales approach if it were up to them.

It’s hard to imagine these promotions disappearing, so it is incumbent upon the players to take a hard line in these situations. The fans are doing their job by cheering and wanting free food. It’s up to the players to understand that sportsmanship can, and should, trump a sandwich, even if it winds up disappointing 20,000 people.

15 comments
gib
gib

Dude was just trying to please the fans.

Mark V.1
Mark V.1

So you are telling me 20,000 fans should be denied a free lunch because a bunch of millionaire NBA players don't want their feelings hurt?  Gimme a break...

rsmpacis
rsmpacis

Joakim did nothing wrong other than not driving hard to the basket for a slam....

 

TravisO'Deane
TravisO'Deane

I disagree. Completely. As a celtics fan, this may be the biggest thing Noah has done to impress me. It's not nearly as bad as Ricky Davis going for a triple double by purposefully shooting on his own basket 

fletchman1313
fletchman1313

Pretty ironic that the Magic did this about a decade ago so one of their players could get a triple-double or something.  

unitcaptain11
unitcaptain11

We dont need basketball to be like baseball with players getting upset at every little perceived slight. 

 

This article draws the wrong conclusion too.  if you dont like losing, play better.  If you dont want a player shooting a 3, guard him.

 

Seriously, enough of these stupid unwritten rules.

Chris49
Chris49

You have to be kidding me.  You're seriously sitting here advocating players to "take a hard line"?  Why anybody made a big deal - or any sort of deal - out of Noah hoisting a shot to win thousands of free sandwiches is completely ridiculous.  Stop taking yourself so seriously.   

ajax723
ajax723

I think I'd rather have the opposing team mad at me rather than the home fans. Hate to get hit in the back of the head with a Big Mac while walking down the street with some fan yelling... 'that's how you hit the target Joakim!"

AdrianLJackson
AdrianLJackson

I guess here's where Grandpa is confused. Instead of the Magic and NBA fanboys dissing Noah, how about trying to block or steal the ball and try to win! One of the many things I hate about pro sports is this: "Oh well, the game is ALMOST over so let's just not try at all". 

lil_bit_special
lil_bit_special

and the other group of people who were mad were the bettors who picked the Bulls to win at -9.

johnnyhopkins
johnnyhopkins

Completely disagree. Real professionals should not cry over one end of game shot meant to reward the fans who make the entire league possible. It's not as if the Bulls were sitting at 90 points and went out of their way to quickly score 10 more in the last minute. It's one shot, get over it.