He has not yet confirmed the news himself but all the specialized press of the NBA evokes it this Monday evening: Joakim Noah withdraws from the prosecution and retires.
At 36, Yannick's son tiptoes away after a last freelance in 2020 with the Los Angeles Clippers.
His agent had hinted at this decision last December: The Athletic, a very well-informed American site confirms this Monday.
13-year NBA center Joakim Noah - a two-time All-Star and former Defensive Player of the Year winner - is effectively retiring from basketball, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium.
Plan is for the longtime Chicago star to eventually retire as a Bull.
- Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 1, 2021
With him, a giant of French sport is leaving.
A giant first in terms of size: 2.11 m.
Double champion - a rarity even for an American player -, university before landing in the NBA in 2007, Noah spent 13 seasons on the floors of the US League.
The New York native, who started playing basketball in Levallois (Hauts-de-Seine) and discovered the NBA when the Bulls came from Jordan to Bercy in 1997, has had the most beautiful and major part of his career with these Bulls precisely.
"These were the best times," he said at the time.
We were living a dream without knowing it.
It is rare to experience such moments.
If he was never NBA champion, he was voted best defender in the league in 2014, an honor that no French player had had before him.
Since then, Rudy Gobert in 2018 and 2019 has won the trophy twice.
Noah and Gobert, besides their positions on the field, share another honor: both have been selected twice for the All Star Game, the gala match bringing together the best players in the world.
Joakim Noah was selected in 2013 and 2014. Gobert was already selected in 2020 and he will equal the son of the former winner of Roland Garros next Sunday in Atlanta with his second selection.
On the French side, only Tony Parker, with 6 invitations to the table of kings, is ahead of them.
In 2014, Noah was also voted one of the top 5 NBA players of the season.
A contrasting history with the French team
After leaving Chicago in 2016, his career went less well.
Returning to New York in his hometown, he never managed to convince with the New York Knicks.
After a 20-game suspension for positive doping control in 2017, he was even fired by the franchise a year later.
A graduate in anthropology, speaking French, English, Swedish - the language of her mother - fan of Bob Marley and PSG, dad of a 5 year old girl, Noah also had a contrasting history with the French team.
However, he was part of the adventure when in 2011, Tony Parker's Blues won the silver medal at the Euro.
Injured, he was not there two years later when France won the European Championship.
Before leaving the scene definitively, Joakim Noah should however sign a last contract, a CDD of one day only with the Chicago Bulls, just to close the loop symbolically.