"I’m lit. I’m too lit to play in New York City. Memphis is perfect for me."
The Joakim Noah era in New York was a complete and utter failure. 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.
During an interview on the Chris Vernon Show in Memphis, Noah says, “I can look back on it and say I thought I was ready for New York City, and I wasn’t. It’s something I have to live with."
“I remember after the first game, I probably had, like, 60 people at my house. I’m lit. I’m too lit to play in New York City. Memphis is perfect for me . . . We were lit in Chicago, but I was young. You recover faster, you know?”
Noah added, "When I got kicked off the team, it was New York Fashion Week. I was getting paid a lot of money and I had no direction. I really had to make a decision of how I wanted to live my life. If I kept going in the direction I was going in and stayed in New York, then I probably wouldn't be here right now."
The Knicks had signed Noah to a monster four-year deal worth $72 million in July 2016 but things didn't go as planned, at all. 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 NBA for 20 games for taking a banned substance.
Noah appeared in just seven games during the 2017-18 season and left the Knicks in February following a heated exchange with then head coach Jeff Hornacek. New York desperately tried to trade Noah but never came close to striking a deal and ultimately decided to waive and stretch the final season of his contract, therefore freeing up more than $10 million in cap space for the Knicks in the summer in 2019, according to ESPN's Ian Begley.
During his 53-game tenure with the Knicks, Noah averaged just 4.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per night.