Noah on foot, Thibodeau and summer trips

Nick Friedell spent some time with Joakim Noah over the weekend in New York and asked the Chicago Bulls center about a variety of topics including:

  • The status of his left foot after battling plantar fasciitis last season: "I'm very confident, but it's still something that ... it's no joke and [the injury] put a lot of things in perspective for me. Injuries are something that are very serious and something that I want to limit, so I understand that it's going to be a long season this year, and I think we're going to do real special things. To do that, I know that I have to be 100 percent. I think we're going to be OK, though."

  • First impressions of new coach Tom Thibodeau: "I think Coach Thibs is going to be great. At first I talked to him, and I know we have a lot of friends in common. [University of Florida] Coach [Billy] Donovan is somebody who really admires what Coach Thibs brings to the table. Even during the Boston/Bulls [playoff] series [in 2009] I thought Coach Donovan came to see me play, but he was actually learning and watching tape with Coach Thibodeau, which was kind of messed up I think, but I still love Coach Donovan. He's my guy. No, Coach Thibs is definitely somebody who knows the game, who's been around the game for a long time, and I think he really knows what he's talking about. Defensively, I think everybody knows what he brings to the table. And from what we've talked about, offensively, he's going to help us a lot. Everything I've read and everything I've heard coming from him, he's very passionate about the game. Like I said, I think it's going to be a helluva a season."

  • Playing the Knicks on Christmas Day in his native New York:"Oh man, that's going to be great. I hope we don't have a game the next [day] so we can get a W against the Knicks and chill out so I can spend some time with my family out here. That would be the best, but who knows? We know we're playing New York Dec. 25, and I'm going to be hyped."

  • Summer report: "I thought it was really important that I stayed off of basketball as much as possible. I didn't touch a basketball for the first month and a half. I went to Hawaii, brought my whole family out there, rented a little house -- beautiful -- overlooking the ocean, had a blast. Jumping off of waterfalls, all kinds of [stuff]. It was paradise. I'm not going to lie. Then after that I decided it was time to go see the older generation of the family. You never know how long you're going to have the older generation of the family, so I went to go see my grandparents in Sweden. Had a blast in Sweden, and then I went to Africa, got some good energy in Africa, spent some time with my grandfather out there, brought my sister with me. It was just good times. Just flowing down rivers and did a lot of good things for the kids out there, and I'm really proud of that. I have a house out there, and I'm really happy to go back to Cameroon. It gives me power and kind of puts things in perspective for me. It's pretty poor, but the people are real happy, and it always feels good to see my people out there in Cameroon. Then I just came back to Chicago and started grinding it out, really working hard, a lot of lifting weights, working on my jump shot, working on my hooks.

    "And I was just in Chicago during the whole free agency thing, and I think we did pretty well. I'm really happy with our team, and I think we're going to surprise a lot of people. We're ready. I think the organization did a great job just getting good pieces, and I think we're going to be competing against the best of them and it will be exciting for those games. "