Joakim Noah: '"I Don't Hate LeBron. I'm Just Competitive. And The F*****g Guy Just Beat Us To Win Championships For Years."

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(via Slam)

(via Slam)

Joakim Noah had a lot of battles over the course of his 12-year career, but perhaps none greater than the ones against LeBron James.

With Noah on the Bulls and James on the Heat/Cavs, the players were a part of two Eastern powerhouses and consistently met in the playoffs as a result.

Over the years, the narrative has been spread that Noah actually hates LBJ, but in a chat with Barstool, he insisted it's just a result of his competitive nature.

"I don't hate Lebron. I'm just competitive. And the fucking guy just beat us to win championships for years. Everybody thinks I just hate, I don't hate anybody. My life is good. I'm just pissed when I lose."

Losing to LeBron James was a consistent fate for Noah and the Bulls. In 2010, they made the playoffs as the eighth seed, only to lose to LeBron and the Cleveland Cavaliers in 5 games.

In 2011, boasting the best record in the conference, they lost again to James, this time to his new team (the Miami Heat) in the Eastern Conference Finals. Twice over the next four years, they lost to a LeBron-led team despite being one of the best teams in the NBA.

Of course, LeBron James was dominating in all those series, and Noah's attempts to slow him down usually went unsuccessful.

So, while Noah may not "hate" LeBron James, there's good reason to be a little salty about his history against him. He and his team were always an obstacle the Bulls were unable to overcome and he's still dominating today -- as Noah watches from the sidelines.