NEW YORK — Joakim Noah may have left the Bulls, but he says Chicago will always be his home.
The former Chicago Bull published a farewell note to the city he called home for nine years Thursday, saying "the best times in his life took place on the United Center floor."
A prolific philanthropist, Noah also said his dream "is still to help make the city a safer place for kids to grow up."
Thank you Chicago!! I moved here 9 years ago and quickly got an understanding of what the city was about. Hard work. No nonsense. Grind. Loyalty. Passion. I wanted to represent those qualities every time I stepped onto the court and competed for the Bulls. Thank you to every teammate I battled with. We won and we lost but I have love and respect for every single one of you. One day this basketball journey will be over and all we will have are memories. The best times in my life took place on the United center floor. You are all my brothers. The relationships I made in Chicago go far beyond basketball and to me that is just as big as winning the championship. I wish the people in Chicago nothing but the best and I hope we can all unite and bring some peace to the city. The work to unite people and build positivity throughout the neighborhood will continue thru my foundation and other many great foundations throughout the city that my family and I will stay involved with. I will continue to do my best to help out. Chicago is home for the rest of my life and my dream is still to help make the city a safer place for kids to grow up in. My journey now brings me home to New York and the team I grew up rooting for as a kid. But nothing has mattered more to me over the past 9 years then the city of chicago, the chicago bulls, and all of the passionate bulls fans. There are way too many people to thank individually but I want to give special thanks to the Reinsdorf family for making me a part of the Chicago Bulls family and everything that that represents. One love, Joakim Noah :)
Meanwhile, Noah was photographed riding a bike-share bicycle Wednesday in his hometown of New York. News of Noah's intention to sign with the New York Knicks broke last week.
The photographer, Jego Armstrong, said he saw Noah rent the bicycle near Lexington Avenue and 24th Street in Manhattan before taking this picture.
A man of the people. [Facebook/Jego Armstrong]
Noah had a privileged childhood — he's the son of a professional tennis star and a model — but endeared himself to Bulls fans with prolific charity work and an all-out style of play. Noah was raised in Paris and Manhattan before playing college basketball at the University of Florida.
He won the NBA's Walter J. Kennedy Citizenship Award in 2015 and once crashed a random house party here in 2013.
"We just want to represent," Noah said of the Bulls during a tumultuous 2014 season. "Like when I look at the top of the arena, and I look up top and I see teams call timeout, and I see the guy who looks this big and he's up cheering up and down, jumping up and down, that's the guy I play for."
Citi Bike, New York's bike-sharing program similar to Divvy, costs $12 a day or $155 for a year. Noah could buy 464,516 years of unlimited Citi Bike rides with his new deal.
Not that Noah isn't in good company. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is also known for taking spins through New York on a Citi Bike.
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