Maybe, yeah, maybe a bit. It’s fun to see how players are getting more and more interested in that.”
He is also eager to see how he fares in the next couple of years with the New York Knicks, an uncertain franchise. After a rough playoff exit last season, when his play plummeted, Noah said he hoped that, by winning a championship, he would have the opportunity to play in the Big Apple for a decade.
For now, though, he is enjoying the ride.
“It was kind of surreal playing in my first NBA Finals game,” Noah said. “It feels great that the city has welcomed me into their basketball fabric.”
He and former Thunder teammate Chris Bosh, who played in six games with the Knicks last postseason, were featured in a TV spot for MSG Network Monday that launched to great fanfare for Noah and Bosh. The spot starts with the players having a good-natured game of “Pinball,” before the camera pans and pans again.
“It feels kinda cool to be back in the Garden,” Bosh said of returning to New York after nearly five seasons away. “I never expected it to get this much exposure from us guys.”
Bosh said the game featured a “real competitive vibe.”
“We were all pretty pumped out there,” Bosh said. “We came up big all the way through, with a couple steals and an assist, as well as a shot.”
After the game, the two players talked in more depth about playing in the Finals.
“That was a lot of fun,” Bosh said. “Being here, watching the game, was kind of funny how we played. You get so close.”
A few days later, Noah had two of his teammates, James Harden and James Johnson, show him a number he picked to help raise money for the Noah’s Ark Project, an organization that aids children affected by Hurricane Katrina.
“I like a lot of guys on the team,” Noah said. “My guys, I think, have a lot of faith in them. They were really down to earth that day.”
For the Knicks of yore, a chance to compete for a championship is a special one that can have lasting effects. If the roster stays intact, so too will his playing time. But there is no doubting that on Sunday at the Garden, his experience made him happy even if he didn’t realize it. For him, the moment was memorable for two
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