Bulls' Noah benched Sunday by unanimous vote by teammates

ATLANTA -- Chicago Bulls rookie Joakim Noah was benched for
Sunday's 105-84 loss to the Atlanta Hawks -- by his teammates.

They delivered a unanimous vote after the rookie from Florida
was involved in a confrontation with assistant coach Ron Adams in
practice before Friday's game at Philadelphia.

Noah was inactive for the Philadelphia game for internal
disciplinary reasons, but the players told interim coach Jim Boylan
one game was not enough.

"We have a chance to salvage this season and we just need
everybody on the page," said Bulls veteran guard Adrian Griffin.

"It's one of those things that I believe is going to bring us

"Everyone on this team knows what Joakim can do and we just
look forward to getting him back on the court."

Noah, who is averaging 4.2 points and 3.1 rebounds in
12.3 minutes, sat behind the Bulls bench, wearing street clothes.

"They just told me what I did was unacceptable and I'm just
going to move on from here," Noah said before the game. "I've just got to accept
it. What do you want me to say? I've just got to move on. There's
nothing I can do about it."

When asked if he believes the two-game suspension is too severe,
Noah said "Ask the players who made the decision. I don't know.
... Do I agree with it? It doesn't make a difference. I respect my

Boylan, promoted to head coach on Dec. 27 after Scott Skiles was
fired, said the suspension resulted from more than one incident.

Boylan called Noah "a great kid," but noted he's been
involved in "a couple of situations where he's been late or not
doing what the Chicago Bulls do. So the cumulative aspect of this
is definitely part of the reasoning for the players doing what they

"This isn't college anymore," Boylan said. "It's the NBA.
This is professional sports."

He said the team felt Noah needed to sit another game.

"They felt it deserved more," Boylan said. "It was the entire
team that felt that way, so I back my team and the decision that
they made, and appreciate the leadership that they've shown."

Atlanta rookie Al Horford, who played with Noah at Florida,
called the ninth pick in the draft "very emotional" and "very

"I just feel it's a learning experience for everyone in
general," Horford said. "If you cross a line in something like
that, there's consequences to it. ... He wants to win really bad. I
think people will figure him out as time goes on."