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Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Joakim Noah on the Meaning of Life, and a Homemade "Entourage"


Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog has an honest and insightful question for athletes: Does dedicating your life to chasing around a little ball ever seem kind of pointless?

He recently talked to young Bull Joakim Noah. (Well worth clicking over to read the whole thing.)

I've asked this to some different guys in different sports, but I'm curious what you'd have to say, because you're a guy that's got a lot of interests. Do you ever sort of get bored, I guess, with basketball, bored with being a professional athlete? Because it's kind of the same thing over and over.
It is. It is. And sometimes it's hard, like when you're in Utah and you get in at like 2 o'clock in the morning, and you're far from your friends and everybody that you know. You've just got to realize that you're lucky. You're lucky. You're fortunate to be doing what you love to do. Not a lot of people can say that. There's times where your body's tired, your body's achy, your ankle hurts, and you just don't want to.

But I used to talk about that with my pops a little, because my pops went through the same thing, and he always said would you trade it for anything else? And there's no way. There's no way. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I mean, even though sometimes it's hard--you're leaving home, you're leaving your boys at home, they get to drive your car or have the house to yourselves. You know? They're doing big things, having fun. I mean, it's the life we chose, and I wouldn't have it any other way, even though sometimes it's hard.

Then the conversation moved quickly to how a lot of NBA players could make their own version of Entourage, if they wanted to:

So what do your boys do with your house when you're gone?
Live large. I don't know half of it. I don't even want to know. But I let them enjoy it. ...

Does it get grimy?
In the house? Nah, thank God I've got a cleaning lady, so it doesn't get too grimy. There's definitely some grimy stories. There's definitely some griminess. But I'm not going to tell you. That'd be like snitching on myself. Why would I do that?

Because I'm looking for something interesting.
I understand that.

So when you get back, the house looks the same as when you left it?
Oh, they've got to do that. I think if it really came down to it, I think NBA players, there's a lot of players who could pull a better version of, like, an "Entourage." A lot of players.

And you're one of them?
Um, remember, I'm not snitching on myself. I'm not gonna snitch on myself. But I'm telling you man, if there were NBA players who filmed it, a lottttt of people would watch. A lot of people.

Also, Peter May writes about the trouble young players have saying "no" to friends who ask them for money.