Apr 14, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) reacts to a jump ball during the second quarter of a game against the Orlando Magic at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Playoffs 2014: Joakim Noah 'distraught' after mentor passes away

When Joakim Noah takes the court for the Chicago Bulls today in Game 1 of their opening round playoff series against the Washington Wizards, it’ll be with a heavy heart.

Tyron Green, who passed away earlier this week, was a mentor to many NBA players who grew up in New York like Lamar Odom, but Green and Noah held a special bond – one that Noah compared to Green being like a second father.

Bulls fans likely remember Noah thanking Green the night he was drafted.

Noah attempted to speak to the media on Sunday morning, this after traveling to New York on Saturday to meet with Green’s family but simply wasn’t able to do so.

Per Michael Lee:

Joakim Noah, still distraught after losing his mentor, didn’t talk before shootaround. Left court after long workout & said, “I can’t do it”

The Bulls released a statement on behalf of Noah on Saturday afternoon:

“I am saddened by the passing of Mr. Green, who was like a second father to me,” it read. “I will do my best to respect his life and his family in this time of grief and ask that everyone please do the same. I will miss him very much.”

Tags: Chicago Bulls Joakim Noah

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