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Monday, October 7, 2013
Noah joins Adidas; won't play vs. Grizzlies

By Nick Friedell

ST. LOUIS -- Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah acknowledged Monday that his deal to wear Adidas shoes is done.

"I'm really excited about joining that brand," he said before Monday's shootaround. "It's just a great opportunity and I'm just so happy to be a part of it."

Noah hinted at the move last week and was wearing new sneakers over the past few days. He left Le Coq Sportif, the brand he's worn since coming into the NBA and the brand his father, former tennis great Yannick Noah, has been associated with for years.

Many within the Bulls organization have to be thrilled with his decision, given all the issues Noah has had with plantar fasciitis over the past few years. Bulls management talked this summer about looking into ways to prevent Noah's consistent foot problems, and many believed a change to his footwear was in order, along with possible orthotics to accompany his shoes. Now, Noah becomes another face of a company that already endorses Bulls superstar Derrick Rose.

The All-Star center said he did not discuss his new Adidas deal with Rose and does not expect to star in any upcoming commercials with his close friend.

Noah will not play in Monday's second preseason game against the Memphis Grizzlies because of a groin injury, but he is hopeful to play in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday when the Bulls face the Washington Wizards.

"I feel a lot better," Noah said. "I got a little bit more ways to go, but I feel a lot better. It felt good to be in practice."

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau also likes the progress Noah is making, especially after participating in Sunday's practice.

"He's feeling better," Thibodeau said. "He'll do more [Monday] but he won't play tonight."

Thibodeau is also optimistic about Noah's chances of playing in Rio.

"Pretty good," he said. "I want him to get some practices under his belt. So we'll see where he is after today."