Joakim Noah was an absolute beast during his prime. Unfortunately for the Chicago Bulls fan-favorite, injuries got in the way of what was a decorated career for the two-time All-Star.

During his time with both the Bulls and the New York Knicks, one of Noah’s fiercest rivals was the Miami Heat. Dwyane Wade, in particular, was a nuisance he never really got along with on the court. However, as Noah relayed in a recent interview ESPN’s Zach Lowe, everything changed when Wade did the unexpected:

Progress [of Noah’s recovery from injury] was slow. Noah was scuffling during one early workout at Pepperdine University when Dwyane Wade unexpectedly set up shop at the opposite end of the gym. Noah did not want his old Miami foe seeing him diminished. “I was just playing this guy in the conference finals, and now I can barely move,” Noah says. “I was embarrassed.”

And then suddenly, without warning or approach, Wade began repeating, “Stay with it! Stay with it!”

“I’ll never forget that,” Noah says. “God damn, we used to talk so much s— to each other. It was almost like, ‘F— this dude, I can’t even be around this dude.’ And then just little words from the other side of the court. That was a turning point. When you’re in between the lines, there’s no friends. Outside of it, there’s respect.” (Through a spokesperson, Wade said he remembers the encounter.)

It’s safe to say that Joakim Noah was shocked by Wade’s sudden show of support. He clearly did not expect this from a man he considered to be his foe.

Nevertheless, such is the bond of brotherhood between players in the NBA. They may try and kill each other on the basketball court, but off of it, there’s no denying that they all share a special bond.

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