Coach calls confrontation between Noah, Wallace no big deal

Updated: January 17, 2008, 3:03 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

MIAMI -- Fiery Chicago Bulls rookie Joakim Noah had a testy exchange with teammate Ben Wallace during a loss at Orlando on Wednesday, but coach Jim Boylan downplayed their argument.

Joakim Noah

Noah

"I know all about it. A couple of words passed back and forth between teammates. That's all it was," Boylan said before Wednesday's game against the Miami Heat. "There was no confrontation."

Noah had a confrontation with assistant coach Ron Adams in practice Friday and sat out the next two games for disciplinary reasons.

Noah scored 12 points in Tuesday's 102-88 loss at Orlando. On Wednesday, he declined to talk to reporters.

Wallace didn't want to talk about his incident with Noah.

"Ask Joakim about it," Wallace said.

"I talked to them both this morning," Boylan said, "and they were laughing about it."

But Noah wasn't laughing on Tuesday. According to a Chicago Sun-Times report, he said that whoever leaked the story of the confrontation is dividing the team.

"You know what makes me mad, that somebody actually said and told you guys that there was a situation," Noah told WSCR radio station in Chicago. "That's what makes me mad. That's the only reason why I'm doing this right now. Otherwise I wouldn't be doing it.

"For people to say we've had a clash ... this is the kind of stuff that divides a team. You guys write these stories and hype things up. It's crazy."

The Bulls got a much needed win on Wednesday, routing the Miami Heat 126-96. Noah had three points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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