<
>

No shortage of gratitude from All-Star Noah

Joakim Noah thanked just about everyone through Twitter Thursday night after learning of his All-Star selection. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Joakim Noah was thankful for being selected to his first All-Star Game on Thursday. The Chicago Bulls center was so thankful he took to Twitter and unleashed a barrage of excited tweets on Thursday night thanking everyone from his parents and family to the University of Florida to Bulls teammates.

"He's excited, man, he's excited," fellow All-Star Luol Deng said Friday. "It means a lot to him because of the work he's put in. The great thing about being an All-Star, being selected, recognized as one, it's not so much everyone thinks it's about you. But really it's not as much about you. Really just a thank you for everyone else who helped you get there.

"That's why I think Jo's reaction just giving a shout out to everybody he knows. It's a moment for him to let those people know he's celebrating with them. For me, the same thing."

Deng was named to his second All-Star team, joining Noah, who is the first Bulls center to make the team since Artis Gilmore during the 1981-82 season. Noah, who is in the middle of the best season of his career, averaging 12.2 points, 10.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists, said he wanted to pay tribute to everyone in his life who helped get him here.

"To be considered an All-Star is an unbelievable honor. So a lot of people helped me along the way so it's definitely a lot of people to thank," Noah said. "I know that not only does it make me happy, but it makes a lot of people that were with me happy. A lot of people had to make sacrifices in order to get me where I'm at today so I just wanted to thank them."

And Noah was also grateful to the organization that selected him ninth overall in the 2007 NBA draft.

"I wouldn't be here without my teammates and my coaches," Noah said. "And this organization, they believed in me. I came in as a young, loud, probably a little immature and with a big mouth. And they always believed in me, through it all, through the good times and the hard times and I just want to say that I appreciate them."

Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson told "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000 that Noah has earned his way to All-Star status.

"Jo, he's such a great guy," Paxson said. "The entire organization loves him because of his passion and his energy. He had to learn some things along the way and he has. That's the real credit to him. He spent a lot of time in the offseason working on his game.

"I think what you see with him when you look at numbers and points, that's not who he is. He's kind of an intangible guy and a guy that keeps our team together in terms of the emotion and passion which he plays with."

ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell and Jon Greenberg contributed to this report.