According to TNT's Rachel Nichols, Noah poked fun at one of college basketball's most storied programs after Mike Dunleavy Jr. exploded for 21 points on Thursday night, saying, "He's finally giving Duke some credibility."
After receiving 10 stitches above his right eye following an inadvertent blow to the head from Chandler Parsons, Dunleavy totaled 18 points in the third quarter and finished the night as the Bulls' leading scorer.
And according to some, Noah's joke could be viewed as a cheerful slight at teammate Carlos Boozer—a former Blue Devil himself—who totaled 18 points on 9-of-19 shooting and seven rebounds in the Bulls' 111-87 rout of the Houston Rockets:
SHOTS FIRED AT BOOZER. RT @Rachel__Nichols: Joakim Noah on Mike Dunleavy's clutch 2nd half: "He's finally giving Duke some credibility"— The Bulls Show (@TheBullsShow) March 14, 2014
On the season, Boozer is averaging a shade over 14 points and eight boards, numbers that represent departures from averages of 16.2 points and 9.8 rebounds during the 2012-13 campaign.
As a result of that decreased production, Boozer may very well be a casualty of the Bulls' amnesty clause this summer, according to Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher.
In addition to decreased effectiveness in basic box score terms, Boozer has also seen his player efficiency rating plummet below the league average of 15 for the first time in his career. What's arguably more concerning, though, is that Boozer's offensive rating has dropped to a mark of 94, which is seven points worse than his previous career-low of 101.
With the aging power forward due $16.8 million next season, it's hard to envision a scenario in which the Bulls would retain Boozer.
His enthusiasm and tenacity are beloved qualities on a scrappy Bulls squad, but with Taj Gibson producing at Sixth Man of the Year levels and Chicago potentially looking to add another superstar, Noah may not have much longer to poke fun at one of his buddies from Durham.
All statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference unless noted otherwise.