Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NBA [Print without images]

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Joakim Noah ends celebration routine

By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah said he no longer will do his six-shooter celebration with his fingers out of respect for the victims who lost their lives in Newtown, Conn., on Friday.

"I started doing it in practice," Noah said after recording a triple-double in a 100-89 victory over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday. "I hit a jump shot in Keith Bogans' face and I started doing (it) and kept doing it and it was kind of a funny, comical thing, but I guess we're in a situation right now where it's not funny.

"You can't joke around with things like that. Too many people are dying because of guns. We have a problem here with guns, so (I'm) just trying to be a little bit compassionate about what's going on. You can't joke around -- it's not a laughing matter anymore."

Noah, who has been outspoken against gun violence on Twitter, spoke to gang members in Chicago over the summer and has tried to use his platform as an NBA star to stop violence.

"I think it's what happened in Connecticut that was really shocking to a lot of people but things like that have been going on," he said. "We have a serious problem with that in Chicago. It's crazy, man. You just hear about ... the summer and the movie theatre (in Aurora, Colo.); it's happening all the time. This is just unheard of. Every story is just horrific. It's just not a joke. This gun thing in this country is no joke."

Noah said his celebration, in which he fired imaginary six-shooters in the air and then holstered them by his shorts after knocking down a jumper, didn't get much of a reaction before the tragedy in Connecticut. But he got some feedback on social media and decided to end the routine for good.

"I think after the thing happened in Connecticut somebody said something and I had never really thought about it like that," Noah said. "And then when somebody said it, it made me a little bit conscious about it. Just try to be compassionate to those who were affected."