Joakim Noah paid a price for his profane tirade against three NBA officials after he was ejected during the 99-70 loss in Sacramento late Monday night.
The Bulls' all-star center was fined $15,000 for verbally abusing the officials after his ejection. The decision was handed down by Rod Thorn, president of NBA basketball operations.
After getting his second technical foul within three minutes during the third quarter, Noah went on a memorable tirade, delivering a profane message to each of the three referees before storming off the court.
By avoiding a suspension, Noah was in the starting lineup Tuesday against Phoenix.
Noah got his first technical foul when he made a short drive to the basket and thought a foul should have been called. Before the second technical, Noah seemed to be minding his own business under the basket when he was given a loose-ball foul.
Needless to say, Noah's string of double-figure rebounding games ended at 18. Afterward, he tried doing damage control.
"I'm really disappointed," Noah told reporters. "I shouldn't have acted that way. I apologized. I'm sorry. All three of the referees out there were trying to do their jobs, and I should've never said the things that I said. Hope they accept my apology. I hope we can move on from this.
"I think I was just frustrated with the game. You've got to give Sacramento a lot of credit. They played really well. They deserved to win. We have to step it up. I think I was just frustrated with the way the game was going. I was frustrated with the call, but it doesn't give me the right to do what I did. I deserved to get ejected. It's just a bad decision on my part."
Thibs' postgame message:
The Bulls shot 28.2 percent from the field against the Kings, their lowest total in more than 10 years.
After a slow start, they tied the score at 30-30 with 5:30 left in the first half. Sacramento responded with a 19-3 run and went up by 16 early in the third quarter.
The Bulls got back within 7 after Noah's ejection, but things quickly got out of hand. Late in the game, Kings forward Derrick Williams stole a pass and tried to throw a self alley-oop off the backboard but botched the dunk.
"We played poorly," coach Tom Thibodeau said after the game. "The one thing about this league is that things can change quickly on you, and they have. It can go from good to bad very quickly, just as quickly as going from bad to good. We've got to change it. We've got to have more urgency. We've got to work our way out of it."
After getting off to a good start on the road trip with a win at San Antonio, the Bulls' offense was pathetic against two sub-.500 teams. They scored 79 and 70 points in the losses to New Orleans and Sacramento.
"You've got to bring a mindset on the road with a lot of toughness," Thibodeau said. "It's hard to win on the road and you've got to have that toughness with you at all times. You can't pick and choose, 'I'm going to ease into it,' or, 'It's not going my way,' and then you're allowing guys to play to their strengths.
"You've got to play this game with energy and toughness and intelligence. You've got to get yourself ready, and you're on the road. You have to have a mentality. This is business. This ain't hanging out having a good time. If you're serious about winning, you prepare yourself the right way."
Fourth-and-long for Boozer:
In his response to Carlos Boozer's complaints about not playing in the fourth quarter, Tom Thibodeau took the opportunity to praise Taj Gibson, who usually does play power forward in the fourth.
"I'm asking Taj to sacrifice not starting, and in some cases Carlos has to sacrifice not finishing," Thibodeau said in a chicagobulls.com report. "Sometimes you have to sacrifice what might be best for yourself for what's best for the team.
"That's what I love about Taj. Taj could be upset he's not starting. He never complains. Whatever you ask him to do, he just goes out there and does it. To me, what he does speaks volumes. He's not talking about it. He's going out there and doing it.
"It's my job to get the best out of everyone and to do what's best for the team. So that's what I'll do. Carlos has a lot of pride. He should want to play. But you have to get it done, too."
CSN Chicago spoke to general manager Gar Forman at a charity event and asked him about Boozer's fourth-quarter complaints.
"I'm disappointed that Carlos didn't keep that in-house," Forman said. "Tom does a terrific job managing guys' roles, managing their minutes. In that situation, Taj has played very, very well."
Boozer played most of the fourth quarter against Sacramento, in large part because of Joakim Noah's ejection.
"Me and Thibs, we're both -- we're on the same page, man," Boozer told reporters after the game. "We compete; we just want to win. I'm a competitor. Of course I want to be out there when the game's on the line."