While it wasn't much of a surprise, after the official Chicago Bulls YouTube account revealed a video on Tuesday congratulating Joakim Noah for his second straight All-Star appearance, on Thursday, it was made official and Noah will be headed to New Orleans for the 63rd NBA All-Star Game.
In a statement released by the team, Bulls General Manager Gar Forman said; "Joakim is extremely deserving of being named an NBA All-Star for the second year in a row. It's easy to appreciate how much passion and energy he has for the game every time he steps on the court, but I'm fortunate to also see how hard he works behind closed doors and that is what has helped make him the player and leader he has become."
Noah joins fellow Eastern Conference reserves Chris Bosh, Roy Hibbert, DeMar DeRozan, Joe Johnson, Paul Milsap and John Wall. The starters are Kyrie Irving, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Paul George.
In the West, the reserves were James Harden, Dwight Howard, Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Chris Paul, Tony Parker and Dirk Nowitzki. The starters are Stephen Curry, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love. There is likely to be an alternate for Bryant, who won't be able to play due to injury.
In his All-Star debut last season in Houston, Noah posted eight points, 10 rebounds and three assists in 16 minutes of action.
On the year, the seventh-year center is averaging 11.7 ppg, 11.4 rpg (second in the East, seventh in the NBA), 4.2 apg (first in the NBA among centers), 1.37 bpg (seventh in the East, 17th in the NBA) and 1.14 spg in 33.8 mpg. He is also one of just eight players in the NBA who is currently averaging a double-double; he also ranks sixth in the league in total rebounds (489) and seventh in offensive boards (163).
With the season-ending injury to Derrick Rose and Luol Deng being traded earlier this month, Noah is in even more of a leadership and has picked up his production, averaging 13.6 points, 14.1 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.9 blocks in the month of January. He's also in the midst of 17 straight games with double figures in rebounding.