- Nick Friedell, Chicago Bulls beat reporter
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DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Joakim Noah didn't get to see much of Derrick Rose during the offseason, but he enjoyed the time he did spend with his close friend and teammate. The pair worked out in Santa Monica, Calif. this summer with Rose's trainer Rob McClanaghan and other NBA players.
"They were great," Noah said of the workouts. "Just spending time with 'Pooh', [Rose] I hadn't seen him a lot in the summer. And being able to see what he does in the summertime, it was great. It was short. It was only like 10 days, but it was definitely some good work."
Noah spent another big chunk of his summer playing for the French national team, an experience he truly seemed to enjoy.
"That was a great experience, just qualifying for the Olympics," he said. "I wasn't feeling 100 percent physically when I was playing in that tournament, but I feel a lot better now. I spent a lot of time in Gainesville, in Florida, working out with coach [Billy] Donovan and that definitely helped me out a lot. I feel a lot better about my game. I feel pretty confident right now. I'm just excited for camp to start."
When he wasn't traveling the globe, Noah spent much of his time training with another one of his close friends, personal trainer Alex Perris.
"I've just been working on everything," he said. "Just trying to get stronger, trying to work on my hook shots around the rim. My jump shot. I'm feeling pretty polished and I'm just excited to go out there and play."
Noah is confident the lockout-shortened season can benefit he and his teammates under coach Tom Thibodeau.
"Whether it's a 66-game season or an 82-game season or a 90-game season, I think we're a pretty confident group," he said. "We're confident in our abilities, we're confident in what we can do as a team. There's no question that Thibs is going to be ready. I don't think nobody questions that. I think that we're a pretty hungry group overall, so we're excited."
Joakim Noah enjoyed his break, but is ready to get back to work with the Bulls.