Noah, who recently signed a one-year, veteran's minimum deal with the Grizzlies after being released by the NY organization, said he was "too lit" to play in his hometown. I was getting paid a lot of money and I had no direction. There are a number of reasons why things didn't work out, but the 33-year old center says part of the problem was he was just "too lit" to play in NYC at his age.
Noah was asked if the pressure of playing in NY, his hometown, was an obstacle.
Joakim Noah's stint with the New York Knicks unceremoniously ended in October, when the organization waived his $18.53 million salary for 2018-19 and stretched his remaining $19.29 million owed for 2019-20.
"I didn't want to go out like that", Noah said in regards to signing with Memphis after being waived by the Knicks.
NY was apparently too much for Noah, who's now in Memphis, a lower profile city than the aforementioned one and Chicago, which he played in from 2007-16.
Talking to the "Chris Vernon Show" in Memphis, where he signed with the Grizzlies earlier this month, Noah said he was "too lit to play in New York City".
"It happened so fast", Noah said. "And it's something that I've got to live with".
"Memphis is ideal for me", the 33-year-old center said. "I was too lit. Memphis is ideal for me. You can recover faster".
Noah explained some of his partying habits, including the 60 people that attended his house after his first Knicks game.
Noah didn't play a game for the Knicks following an incident last season at a practice in late January when he had to be separated from ex-Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek following an argument. The former Defensive Player of the Year appeared in just 46 games for the Knicks in the 2016-17 season and was later suspended by the National Basketball Association for 20 games for taking a banned substance. "So I wasn't sure I was going to get an opportunity to play again". It was a insane time. "And so I really had to make a decision of how I wanted to live my life because if I kept going in the direction I was going and staying in NY I probably wouldn't be here right now".