The LeBron James and Joakim Noah saga has been very colorful that one can find a variety of encounters which fits the [surprisingly] friendly, not so friendly, and nasty category. LeBron doesn’t back down on him obviously and neither does Joakim making every matchup between the Cavaliers and Bulls as entertaining as it can be. The two rivals are now locking horns in the second round of the 2015 NBA playoffs and it has surely taken their unique relationship a notch higher. On that note, we have selected 11 of the greatest moments between the two Central Division foes, including Friday night’s scuffle.
11 – Noah grabs LeBron in mid-air
This late regular season game against the Bulls and the Cavs had playoff atmosphere written all over it. James drives through the lane against the Chicago defense and Noah rendezvoused with him in mid-air to give up a hard foul which some say could have been a flagrant, but it was deemed a regular foul.
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10 – LeBron goes up and under Noah
In Game 2 of the 2010 first round series between the Bulls and Cavaliers, LeBron James schooled Joakim Noah on a sweet up and under drive to the basket. James baited Noah to leave his feet and go up against the shrewd MVP who knew all along how the play will transpire.
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9 – The Slap
The Cavaliers lost a game to the Bulls in February but LeBron got a good piece of Noah’s mug. On this rebound play, Noah has already gotten control of the ball when James’ hand entered the picture then his palm said hello to Noah’s face.
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8 – Noah trash talks LeBron
In the same game as the Slapgate scandal, Joakim Noah had a few sweet nothings to LeBron James after The King’s breakaway jam. It was a short encounter but every close ones involving these two are can’t miss moments.
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7 – Feline King?
I’m trying to understand where Noah was coming from on this one so here goes nothing. People address LeBron James as The King. The NBA is a jungle, so to speak. The king of the jungle is a lion. Lions are part of the feline family. I think’s what Joakim was trying to say.
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6 – Double Whammy
In Game 2 of the 2013 Eastern Conference Semis between Miami and Chicago, LeBron James and Joakim Noah got involved in a scuffle when James got fouled by Jimmy Butler then continued to spin due to his momentum. However, Noah was already waiting on the other end slapping the ball hard off of James despite the whistle already being blown. This was also one of the few times where James showed any sort of retaliation against Noah by giving the Bulls star center a shove.
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5 – James-Noah pick-and-roll?
Seriously? This surreal moment actually happened in the 2014 All Star game as LeBron James and Joakim Noah played beautiful music together by successfully executing a nice pick-and-roll.
Due to an embedding issue, click here to see LeBron James And Noah Play Perfect Pick And Roll In Highlight Fest All Star Game
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4 – James-Noah fast break attack?
Yes, lightning struck the same place twice and this happened at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans during the 2014 All Star Game. This time, it was a smoothly run fast break by James leading to a sweet bounce pass to a streaking Noah.
Due to an embedding issue, click here to see LeBron James And Noah Have Great Chemistry When Not On Opposing Sides
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3 – James over Noah
LeBron James graciously gives Joakim Noah a part in one of his posters by throwing an emphatic slam over the Bulls center. I bet Joakim could not thank LeBron enough.
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2 – The Dance
The eldest love child of LeBron James and Joakim Noah. The one altercation that started it all. The Dance. LeBron James busted out a few moves on the sidelines and Joakim Noah wanted no part of it, telling it to LeBron while the Cavaliers star was taking a free throw. James tried to approach Noah on the Bulls’ bench only to be pulled away by cooler heads.
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1. The Facial Tomahawk Dunk
With around 8:34 left in the third quarter of Game 3, LeBron James had one of the highlights of the night in the poster-dunk he delivered on rival Joakim Noah that has since gone viral. James said that Noah had been trash talking prior to this play. Only difference from before was that Noah apparently crossed the line. Instead of taking it out on Noah and possibly hurting his team, James did what he does best: attack the rim and finish strong.
James received the initial technical foul for taunting and jawing at Noah, before Noah began to talk smack right back and earned a technical himself.