Joakim Noah Named NBA Defensive Player of the Year

Joakim Noah Named NBA Defensive Player of the Year

Joakim Noah Named NBA Defensive Player of the Year

words // Brandon Richard

When Derrick Rose went down with another knee injury in November, it looked like the Chicago Bulls would be lottery bound. Making the playoffs seemed next to impossible when the Bulls traded Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers in January. However, when you have a guy like Joakim Noah in your huddle, there’s no such thing as giving up.

Through all of the adversity, the Bulls persevered, winning 48 games and taking the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference. The anchor for all of that was Joakim Noah, your 2013-2014 Defensive Player of the Year.

Noah averaged 12.6 points, 11.3 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals this season. Behind his play, the Bulls held teams to a league-low 91.8 points per game.

He received 100 out of 125 first place votes for the award.

Before the season, Noah entered a multi-year partnership with adidas Basketball. He spent majority of his award-winning year playing in the Crazy Ghost and Crazyquick.

It’s a good thing the Bulls seem to be at their best with their backs against the wall. They dropped Sunday’s playoff opener to the Washington Wizards at home. See what adjustments Chicago and the Defensive Player of the Year make in Game 2 tomorrow night.

Joakim Noah wearing adidas Crazy Ghost

image via McClatchy Tribute for Getty

Mitchell & Ness NBA Authentic Chicago Bulls Warm-Up Jackets

Mitchell & Ness NBA Authentic Chicago Bulls Warm-Up Jackets

words // Brandon Richard

If I mention the song “Sirius” by The Alan Parsons Project, it may not immediately ring a bell. However, if I were to show you a video of the 90s era Chicago Bulls player introductions, it’d stir up a bellow of emotion that one who did not watch that team compete in real time simply couldn’t understand. If the first thing we remember about those intros is the music, the next may be the warm-ups worn by the legendary trio Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman (shout out Horace Grant from the first three-peat, too!). If you’d like to own a piece of history and relive some of the greatest moments in the history of the NBA, Mitchell & Ness has re-released the heritage Bulls warm-up jacket in ‘Home’ white and ‘Away’ red.

The nylon jacket features mesh lining to keep you cool and feeling fresh. An embroidered NBA league logo is found on the upper right chest, while the team name and year ID tag is sewn into the back waistband. Other features include 1×1 rib trim on the collar, sleeves and waistband, as well as a center snap closure. This jacket is tailored fit, meaning it fits slimmer in the body.

Both of these Mitchell & Ness warm-up jackets are available here at Eastbay today.

Available: Mitchell & Ness NBA Authentic Chicago Bulls Warm-Up Jackets

Mitchell & Ness NBA Authentic Warm-Up Jacket - Chicago Bulls Red

Mitchell & Ness NBA Authentic Warm-Up Jacket - Chicago Bulls White

Athlete Spotlight: Derrick Rose

Derrick has the word “Hope” tattooed on his wrist because as a young man growing up, he was convinced all he needed was a chance to prove himself. He had hope, and a protective family on his side to shield him from trouble so he could concentrate on his passion: Basketball. Today Derrick Rose thinks about kids everywhere growing up with the same background as his and he truly believes they can have the same hopes he had. He believes in setting an example for them in the way he lives and how he plays.

Derrick Rose grew up playing hoops on the southwest side of Chicago, and now stars for his hometown team. Derrick was the first point guard to be chosen  number one overall since Allen Iverson in 1996, and in 2011 he became the youngest player to win the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. He joined Michael Jordan as the only other Chicago player to win the honor.

Last season Derrick played in the adidas adiZero Rose basketball shoe, his first signature shoe. That sneaker was followed before season’s end by the adiZero Rose 1.5. This year, adidas has come up with a worthy successor – the adiZero Rose 2.0, a sleeker version that’s more tailored to Derrick’s quickness.

 

 

Sneaker Watch: Hawks & Mavs Grab Road Wins

Sneaker Watch: Hawks & Mavs Grab Road Wins

Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 34 points wearing the Jordan Prime 5.Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 34 points wearing the Jordan Prime 5.

words // Nick Engvall

There weren’t too many people that would have bet on both the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers losing the first game and giving up home court advantage on Monday. Except for maybe the Atlanta Hawks and Dallas Mavericks, who simply showed up and played hard until the final second.

For Atlanta it was Joe Johnson leading the way with 34 points on 5-of-5 from behind the 3-point line. The win snapped a 15-game second round losing streak for the Hawks. To pour salt on the wound of Bulls fans, as the clock expired, Derrick Rose rolled his ankle and limped off the court in uncertainty.

At the Staples Center in Los Angeles, the Lakers seemed to have put the Mavs away early but Dirk Nowitzki’s 28 points wouldn’t let Dallas lose. Pau Gasol made a couple of late mistakes and Kobe Bryant couldn’t quite get the last second game winner to fall. The bright side for Laker fans is that they continue to get a preview of the Nike Hyperfuse 2011 thanks to Lamar Odom.

Check out the latest Sneaker Watch coverage courtesy of ESPN.

Sneaker Watch: A look at what sneakers the pros are wearing in the NBA Playoffs.Josh Smith drives down the lane wearing the adidas adiZero Crazy Light.Josh Smith drives down the lane wearing the adidas adiZero Crazy Light.

Jamal Crawford calls out a play in the Nike Hyperdunk 2010.Jamal Crawford calls out a play in the Nike Hyperdunk 2010.

Derrick Rose in the adidas adiZero Rose 1.5 and adiZero Speedwrap ankle braces.Derrick Rose in the adiZero Rose 1.5 and adiZero Speedwrap ankle braces.

Ron Artest arrives pre-game with a fresh pair of Ball'n sneakers.Ron Artest arrives pre-game with a fresh pair of Ball’n sneakers.

Lamar Odom wearing the Nike Hyperfuse 2011.Lamar Odom wearing the Nike Hyperfuse 2011, defended by Jason Terry in the Reebok Zig Slash.

Kobe Bryant wearing the Nike Zoom Kobe VI.Kobe Bryant wearing the Nike Zoom Kobe VI.

Shannon Brown wearing the Nike Zoom Kobe VI.Shannon Brown wearing the Nike Zoom Kobe VI and Andrew Bynum in the Nike Zoom Hyperfuse.

Corey Brewer poses for the camera in the adiZero Crazy Light.Corey Brewer poses for the camera in the adiZero Crazy Light.

Jason Terry drives to the basket in the Reebok Zig Slash.Jason Terry drives to the basket in the Reebok Zig Slash, defended by Odom in the Hyperfuse 2011.

C.J. Watson of the Chicago Bulls Talks Sneakers

C.J. Watson of the Chicago Bulls Talks Sneakers

Interview: C.J. Watson of the Chicago Bulls Talks Hoops

words & interview // Brandon Richard

Earlier, we talked a little bit about basketball and life with Chicago Bulls guard C.J. Watson, but what you may or may not know is that C.J. is also quite knowledgeable about sneakers. Outside of what he wears on the court, he’s also been known to keep tabs on shoes in his downtime. In our first interview with C.J. nearly a year ago, he cited the Air Max 95, FILA Grant Hill and Air Jordan II as a couple of his all-time favorite models.

In the second part of my interview with C.J. this week, I asked him a few questions sneakers, namely his love affair with the Nike Zoom Hyperfuse this season. He also let us know why he didn’t stick with the Air Max Fly By for long, recalled his test run of the Air Max 360 BB Low and gave us his thoughts on sneakers continuing to get lighter and lower.

Also remember that C.J. and the Quiet Storm Foundation are giving away tickets to Game 2 of the NBA Conference Semi-Finals against the Atlanta Hawks! Entering is easy; simply head over to the contest page, make a $10 or more donation to his foundation and wait to see if your name is the lucky one picked. The winner may also receive a chance to meet C.J. in person after the game.

Brandon Richard:  For the majority of the season, the Hyperfuse was your playing shoe of choice. However, recently we’ve seen you introduce the new Air Max BB 360 Low into your rotation. Is there any particular reason you’re giving the BB 360 burn after using the Hyperfuse all season long?
C.J. Watson: I just liked how they looked and felt, and after wearing them a few times, I went right back to the Hyperfuse.

BR:  Can you tell us some things you like about the Hyperfuse?
CJ: I like how light the Hyperfuse is. They are just what I need: light, sleek, with a cool look and design to them.

BR: You also spent some time playing in the Air Max Fly By with the high ankle strap. However, by the end of the year, you were back in the regular Hyperfuse. Did you find yourself preferring the feel of the Hyperfuse over the Fly By?
CJ: Yeah, I liked the feel of the Hyperfuse better. I wear two pairs of socks, and the Air Max Fly Bys were giving me a bunion, so I went back to the Hyperfuse. The Air Max Fly Bys were kind of tight and narrow, and I didn’t really like that.

BR: Two of the biggest trends we’re seeing with basketball sneakers is making them as lightweight and low-cut as possible. You’ve tested both throughout the season. Do you have any opinions on sneakers continuing to get lower and lighter?
CJ: I don’t know how much lower and lighter they can go, but if they do, we will be playing in socks after a while. But I think it’s always good to come out with something different and new that people haven’t seen.

BR: Were there any other shoes you picked up throughout the year that didn’t make it to the court?
CJ: I like a lot of different running shoes, so I picked up a few [pairs] of the new Air Max ’95 and a few Jordans. I think Jordans should only be worn off the court. He’s too great of a player to wear his shoes on the court. No one will ever be as good as him.

BR: You’ve talked about being a sneakerhead in the past. Is that something you still have time to keep up with these days? Moreso during the off-season?
CJ: Not as much anymore. I still have a lot of different kicks and try to get the hottest sneakers out, but I’m not as addicted as I was when I was younger.

Interview: C.J. Watson of the Chicago Bulls Talks Hoops