Joakim Noah has taken major strides to improve his offensive repertoire since entering the NBA in 2007 and is set to receive tutoring from the league’s all-time leading scorer.
In an effort to improve on the offensive end of the court, Noah revealed on Wednesday during a visit to a Chicago north suburban high school that he plans to train with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar this summer.
Noah put up approximately seven points and seven rebounds per game through the first month of this season, but he went on a tear rest of the way and closed the campaign with averages of 10.2 points, 9.8 rebounds and a career-high 2.5 assists. He followed that up with a strong showing in the playoffs, averaging team-highs of 15 points and 9.3 rebounds in the Bulls’ first three games of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. However, Noah suffered a gruesome left ankle sprain in Game 3, which caused him to miss the final three contests of the series.
Noah’s offensive production grew as the season wore on and reached its peak against the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 22 when he dropped the first triple-double of his career – with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a do-it-all effort that featured everything from mid-range jumpers to sleek dishes.
Over the past few years, several NBA centers have sought advice from former star big men. Abdul-Jabbar most notably worked with Andrew Bynum while serving as a special assistant coach for the Lakers. In March, Abdul-Jabbar attended a Bulls game and then spoke to the team and took pictures with players, including Noah, in the locker room.
For Noah, workout sessions with Abdul-Jabbar will add to his busier-than-usual offseason regimen. The 27-year-old is currently nursing the ankle injury and has made it clear that he will play for the French national team in this summer’s Olympics.
With Derrick Rose (torn ACL) and possibly Luol Deng (wrist) scheduled to miss an early portion of next season, Noah knows he must improve on both ends of the floor.