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Joakim Noah On His Beef With LeBron James: "LeBron Made His Decision To Go Play In Miami, And I Think The Whole Country Was Against That."

Joakim Noah On His Beef With LeBron James: "LeBron Made His Decision To Go Play In Miami, And I Think The Whole Country Was Against That."

LeBron James has been in the NBA for more than 18 seasons now, and the King has been elite in every one. James has achieved the highest honors the NBA has to offer numerous times and has been to the NBA finals a whopping 10 times. This has naturally led to several battles against various players on other teams throughout the years, some of whom have had a beef with the King. 

Joakim Noah is one of the better players in the game that has had his battles with LeBron during some heated playoff games in the early 2010s. As an All-Star on some really good Chicago Bulls teams, Noah faced off against LeBron when he was with the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers. They frequently jawed at each other during those games and now Noah has broken down his side of the rivalry. 

“LeBron made his decision to go play in Miami, and I think the whole country was against that,” Noah told Wosney Lambry of The Ringer. “Those games (against the Heat) were neck and neck and then a lot of injuries happened.

“Competition is a funny thing, man. I realize that everybody I had a so-called beef with were the people who were in the way of getting a ‘ship. People made it personal, and I kinda, at times, got caught up in it. I think that’s what people love about sports. There’s a beautiful part of competition. There’s also an ugly side.

“That’s a big stage. People always saw the ugly side and they highlighted that. It was real, man. There were times where I really felt like I hated him. I hated everybody who was in the way. I was like, I’m not feeling you, I’m not trying to be friends with you.”

Noah was never quite able to help his team enough to win a playoff series against James, who spent a lot of his early years dominating most teams in the Eastern Conference. However, he had the King's attention during their battles and quite clearly got under his skin a few times. While everyone can look back at those amazing battles with some fondness in hindsight, it's clear that when they were competing, James and Noah went at each other as hard as they could.