Noah Says Big Contract Hurt His Game

Noah Says Big Contract Hurt His Game

Joakim Noah is an emotional player, often dubbed the heart and soul of the Bulls.

He ruminates over losses and criticism with as much intensity as he displays on the court when his motor is running, his ponytail is bobbing and his rebounds are rising.

The slow start Noah endured to this season bothered him deeply. Uncharacteristically clumsy and spiritless, the affable Noah wasn't, to steal one of his favorite phrases, affecting winning.

In an interview with the Tribune, Noah for the first time revealed the five-year, $60 million extension he signed in October 2010 and which began this season contributed to his struggles.

"Yeah, no question, I thought about that," Noah said. "Sometimes you feel like because you're given so much money you're expected to do things. That's not the right mentality to have as a player.

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