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‘I Knew as Well as Anyone How Poorly I Was Playing’

1 Feb 2012

It’s an off day in Philadelphia, so K.C. Johnson and Joakim Noah spent some quality time together discussing the latter’s uncharacteristically spiritless play earlier this season.

K.C. is a fine journalist, a much better beat reporter than I ever was, so I’ll take his word for it that Noah’s comment about the pressure of his $60 million contract — “no question, I thought about that” — deserved placement near the top of the story because it was central to his self-diagnosis, not just because it fit the preconceived fan/media narrative.

Definitely it’s endearing to see Noah talk openly about his struggles in the season’s first three weeks:

“I feel my teammates were always behind me. But I knew as well as anyone how poorly I was playing. And not only wasn’t I playing well, but I was putting a lot of pressure on myself. I wasn’t playing loose out there. I was playing tight. In the beginning of the year, I was overthinking a lot.”

And finally, the wild card: “I was going through a lot of things personally.” Noah didn’t want to explain further, leaving K.C. to move on to other issues, but we can’t discount the potential of that statement. These guys aren’t robots, as much as we sometimes expect them to be.

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