Former Chicago Bulls star Joakim Noah had quite a colorful journey during his time in the NBA. He was once one of the most feared big men in the league, and he had his fair share of on-court battles throughout what was a memorable 13-year career.
As it turns out, however, one of Noah’s most memorable moments didn’t even happen inside an NBA arena. The former Defensive Player of the Year was a guest on JJ Redick’s The Old Man & The Three podcast recently, and he took it upon himself to relive an unforgettable story involving President Barrack Obama, LeBron James, and Kobe Bryant.
Along with LeBron and Kobe, Noah was also invited to one of Obama’s birthday parties in the White House. They ended up playing some pick-up basketball with the commander-in-chief and at one point, while Noah was on the sidelines watching one of the games, he quickly realized just how petty the Black Mamba truly was:
“So I’m sitting next to Kobe,” Noah started. “… LeBron gets a steal. He’s on the break. So obviously, when LeBron catches the ball on the break, it’s a sight to see. Everybody’s watching like, ‘What is he gonna do?’ And I just remember, Kobe turns around and starts talking to me about something completely — he didn’t even want to acknowledge the dunk. I was like, ‘Okay, I know I’m sick, but this guy is sick as hell, too. This guy won’t even acknowledge.’ That said a lot to me. … He didn’t want the visual of him watching LeBron dunk. He didn’t want that picture of him looking.”
That’s hilarious. Joakim Noah does a great job narrating the story, but the best part about all this is that you can easily picture Kobe’s reaction during that moment. As the former Bulls star said, Bryant just didn’t even want to acknowledge LeBron’s dunk. Talk about competitive spirit, right?