Joakim Noah on Joining the LA Clippers: 'It's not something I take for granted'

Garrett Chorpenning

Joakim Noah knows that there are no hand-outs in the NBA, and that he wouldn't be with the LA Clippers right now had it not been for his hard work.

On a conference call with reporters on Saturday afternoon, Noah discussed the process by which he managed to make a return to the league, even after suffering a freak injury.

"You know, in September, I had a freak accident and cut my Achilles, and you know, I told myself that that's just now how I wanted to end my career," Noah said. "So you know, the day after the surgery, I was in the gym working out with the hope of making this team. I knew that if I didn't keep training and if I got a call from the Clippers and I wasn't ready, I knew I would have regrets for the rest of my life... Being in a position to win a championship, it's not something that I take for granted."

Noah also added that being with the Clippers "gives him hope" and that it's a class organization.

The veteran big has become a journeyman in recent years, as the Clippers will be his third different team in three seasons. That said, the 35-year-old still brings a lot to the table and will be a solid contributor both on and off the court. 

Noah has received plenty of praise from coach Doc Rivers, specifically mentioning his high energy and basketball IQ. He also believes that bringing him in will be "fantastic" for Ivica Zubac, who could continue to develop in a major way under Noah. 

The former Defensive Player of the Year may not see a lot of time on the floor once the season picks back up, but there's certainly an opportunity for him to play. 

Having another physical seven-footer on the roster will be great if the Clippers find themselves struggling with matchups, and Noah is a solid option to rely on if Zubac or Montrezl Harrell get into foul trouble in important games. 

Not only is Noah happy to be a member of the franchise, but it sounds as though he would do anything to ensure he spends the rest of his career here.

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