Bulls' Noah answers fans by ripping city

CLEVELAND -- Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah usually gets a kick out of being public enemy No. 1 in a given city.

Maybe that's why he added a little more fuel to the fire in advance of Game 2 of the Bulls-Cleveland Cavaliers playoff series on Monday night. The Cavs captured Game 1 on Saturday, 96-83.

"I don't know about Cleveland, man," he said Sunday while discussing his plans for the rest of the off day. "There's nothing going on. It's bad, man. It's bad."

Noah was asked about the booing and taunts he endured during Game 1, which included chants of "Noah sucks," and whether that motivated him.

"What? That Cleveland sucks?" he said, taking more of a shot than answering the question.

Noah was asked again if he would be even more motivated to prove the fans wrong, and this time he answered with a little more reverence towards the Cavs.

"They're a very good team," he said. "They play very well.

"[Shaquille O'Neal] is back and he's playing at a very high level. They're definitely on a mission right now. So this is good for us. We'll see what we're made of on Monday."

Noah also created headlines by saying Boston Celtics star Kevin Garnett, who was suspended for one game for throwing an elbow at the Miami Heat's Quentin Richardson on Saturday, is a "dirty player." When told of his comments, Celtics coach Doc Rivers laughed and responded: "Noah? Noah's in this series now?

"I have no comment. If Noah had said that last year [during the Bulls-Celtics playoff series], I would have had a comment, but since he's in Cleveland and dealing with that, I think I'll let him focus on [Shaquille O'Neal] and that group right now."

Nick Friedell covers the Chicago Bulls for ESPNChicago.com.