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Friday, November 8, 2013
Noah: No bullying in Bulls locker room

By Nick Friedell

CHICAGO -- Joakim Noah said he would never let the kind of bullying that allegedly occurred in the Miami Dolphins organization over the past few weeks happen in the Chicago Bulls locker room.

"I love my rooks," Noah said after Friday morning's shootaround. "I don't want them to feel terrorized when they come to practice. It's probably not a good feeling. But I don't know, I'm not a football player, I don't think it really happens too much in basketball ... It's just an unfortunate situation. The guy (Jonathan Martin) was petrified, man. I think our rookies feel good about coming to practice and they feel comfortable."

The Bulls have two rookies on the team this season in Tony Snell and Erik Murphy and both have been open about how welcoming veterans like Noah have been.

"I think every team is different," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "So you can't really comment on what other teams are doing. But we've always had a very good culture here. I think we have a very good veteran leadership. I think respect is important."

Bulls general manager Gar Forman has been vocal in the past on the importance of character when the Bulls make a selection in the draft or sign a player via free agency.

"I think it's a big part of who you are," Thibodeau said. "I think the culture is important. We'd like to think we give everyone a fair shake and winners come in all different personality types. You can tolerate some idiosyncrasies, but you can never allow anything to get in the way of winning."

That's the message Thibodeau has imparted to his players as well.

"There's no bullying going on in the Chicago Bulls locker room," Noah said. "I don't like to talk too much about that situation because I'm not in that locker room so I don't really know what's going on except for a few words here and there. It's unfortunate. It doesn't seem happy over here. That's all I can tell you."