Congratulations, Joakim Noah: you are a 2014 NBA All-Star...according to your own team.
The rest of the NBA might not be so certain, however.
A video congratulating the Chicago Bulls center on his second consecutive All-Star appearance showed up on the Bulls' YouTube channel on Tuesday night. The video quickly drew the attention of NBA observers (and time travel aficionados), since the All-Star reserves will not be announced until Thursday evening.
Though the video was quickly taken down, the good people at Beyond the Buzzer saved a copy:
Conspiracy theories abound. Did the Bulls make this video prematurely, without knowing whether or not Noah would actually make the team? Did the NBA already tell the Bulls that Noah would be an All-Star? Did the Bulls break the code of silence by foolishly posting the video ahead of time? Did the maker of this video show up to Stephen Hawking's time travel party? What is Stephen Hawking not telling us?
While the world will find out soon enough whether or not Noah will make the team, the question remains: should he make the team? He is averaging 11.7 points, 11.4 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.3 blocks, 1.2 steals per game for a Bulls team on pace to make the playoffs, despite losing Derrick Rose and Luol Deng.
Yahoo Sports contributor Sherron Shabazz certainly believes Noah should be an All-Star, calling Noah "the heart and soul of the Bulls."
Noah's coach, Tom Thibodeau, clearly believes his guy is an elite big man, per Bulls.com's Sam Smith:
You can’t play any better than he is playing right now in every aspect of the game. The defense has been there all season, the rebounding off the charts, the playmaking, the decisions, multiple effort. It sets the tone for our team. I’m biased. To me he is playing as well as any big man in the league.
Whether or not Noah makes the All-Star team, he has played exemplary basketball this season, and can hold his head up high. The same cannot be said for the Bulls' employee who posted that video; that was not an All-Star move.