Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has been away from the team for the last couple of days, leaving his status for the Bulls' preseason opener against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night somewhat uncertain. There was some concern that Noah's absence was possibly due to an issue with the ankle that he gruesomely injured last postseason, but he cleared up any doubt with a couple of tweets on Monday (via CSN Chicago):
Thank you to everybody who sent their respect to my grandmother. really appreciate the love. I started playing basketball because of her.— Joakim Noah (@JoakimNoah) October 8, 2012
Rip Mamie. Jtaime— Joakim Noah (@JoakimNoah) October 8, 2012
My grandmother was the captain of the Cameroun basketball national team. She did all the secretary work too. Rip Mamie twitter.com/JoakimNoah/sta…— Joakim Noah (@JoakimNoah) October 8, 2012
So there we have it. Noah has been away from the Bulls to mourn the death of his grandmother Mamie. If he's unable to make it back to the team by Tuesday, ESPN Chicago has reported that backup Nazr Mohammed will get the starting nod.
The Bulls and Grizzlies tip-off at 7:00 p.m. CT at the United Center.