In the Knicks' lackluster 107-84 loss to the Raptors, Joakim Noah was once again on the bench in street clothes rather than the Knicks' road blue uniforms.
Noah was suspended for the first 12 games of the season but hasn't dressed since becoming eligible to return. The 72-million-dollar-man, often praised for his team-first mentality, has handled the situation with class.
"I think obviously I understand the situation but I'm going to keep working and be as ready as possible to help in any way I can," Noah said, via Steve Popper of NorthJersey.com. "I feel good. The team is doing really well. I support my guys. Right now it's just about staying on the same routine. I'm working hard and it's hard to do. I'm just trying to take it day by day."
Once the Knicks acquired Enes Kanter in the Carmelo Anthony trade, there was never going to be enough minutes for Kanter, Noah, Willy Hernangomez and Kyle O'Quinn. Currently, Hernangomez has been the odd man out of the rotation and Noah the odd man out of the bench.
"You guys understand the situation right now," Noah said. "It is what it is. I'm just trying to be the best that I can be. I don't know what that is. I'm not playing. I haven't played in 10 months. I've gone through some injuries. I've gone through a lot of things. But at the same time this is not - I'm not making an excuse. It is what it is. This is my reality. I'm going to do my best in a team setting. That's always been who I've been. I just want to be true to myself."
Can Noah ever regain the form that saw him win Defensive Player of the Year in 2013-14?
"Probably not," Noah admitted. "I can help. I feel like I could help this team and that's just my reality. But I just want to, you know, just be the best that I can be. It's not about trying to be what I was three, four years ago, because it's not the reality."