Knicks castaway C Joakim Noah finally found a new home in the NBA, and he has a Madison Square Garden reunion on the calendar in the future.
Noah and the Grizzlies agreed to a one-year, veteran-minimum $1.7 million deal on Tuesday, and the Knicks are on the schedule on Feb. 3. New York decided to waive Noah on Oct. 13 after failing to find a suitor via trade. Instead, they will use a stretch provision on the remainder of his four-year, $72 million deal.
The marriage between these two sides never worked out, and Noah recognized it when he met with the Memphis media following his official signing.
"I'm just really happy that I had a team that believed in me and gave me a shot," Noah said, according to the Commercial Appeal. "It was a rough couple years in New York, so to be in this position right now, I'm not taking it for granted."
There was nothing positive that came out of Noah's time in New York. He could barely stay on the court with multiple injuries and a PED suspension. And when he was, the peformance wasn't great.Over his Knicks career, Noah averaged 4.6 points, 7.9 rebounds, and a woeful 43.9 free-throw percentage over 19.9 minutes in 53 games.
Last season, Noah parted ways with the team after a heated argument between he and former head coach Jeff Hornacek during practice. Hornacek had pulled Noah during garbage minutes against the Warriors earlier, and Noah believed he did it on purpose to embarass him.
But those days are over, and Noah couldn't be any happier to move on with a Grizzlies team he wants to impact immediately.
"It means a lot,'' Noah said Tuesday. "I feel prepared, worked really hard to just have a chance. For Memphis to give me a shot I feel really blessed and fortunate to be back in the NBA. I want to be here for the guys and be a good influence.
"There's a lot of really good young talent, and it's a culture that has been known for its work ethic and its grind. And I pride myself on being one of those guys. So I just want to keep that culture going."
Noah will be an obvious bench player with Marc Gasol the starting center for the Grizzlies.