NBA: Knicks put Noah on indefinite leave

Noah (above) hasn’t been with the Knicks since he and head coach Jeff Hornacek engaged in a heated exchange during a practice in Denver. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - French centere Joakim Noah's future with the New York Knicks was thrown into further doubt on Friday (Feb 2) as the team said he would remain away indefinitely, US media reported.

The New York Daily News, reporting from Milwaukee where the Knicks played the Bucks on Friday, said the Knicks announced that "in a mutual decision Joakim will not be back with the team until further notice."

Noah hasn't been with the Knicks since Jan 25, the day after he and head coach Jeff Hornacek engaged in a heated exchange during a practice in Denver.

ESPN, citing league sources, reported Noah and Hornacek had to be separated.

Hornacek said last week that Noah would miss at least two games, saying he was away from the team for "personal reasons".

Noah was reportedly unhappy after being removed in the fourth quarter of a Knicks' loss to the Golden State Warriors last week having played only four minutes and 20 seconds.

The 32-year-old has endured a rocky spell in New York after joining the team in 2016 after nien years with the Chicago Bulls.

Injury disrupted his first season in New York and in March last year he was hit with a 20-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug policy.

He has played just seven games this season.

According to ESPN, representatives of the Knicks and Noah discussed his status and decided he would stay away from the team as management explores trade options in the run-up to the Feb 8 trade deadline.

With three years and US$54 million (S$70 million) left on his contract, Noah is not an enticing prospect to other clubs unless the Knicks throw in a sweetener of a high draft pick.

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