In places where basketball is popular, he is the Chicago Bulls star player, and in regions where it is not, he is the son of Yannick Noah, the former French tennis star.
Yannick was as much known for winning the French Open in 1983 and being a highly successful captain of France's Davis Cup and Fed Cup teams, as he was for his flamboyant ways, being a style icon and a popular music performer. Yannick also created a stir when he admitted using marijuana prior to matches in 1981.His son has similar traits, a gifted athlete with a self-destructive streak. Asked to describe him, a senior French broadcaster said, "He's a little bit crazy, you know, like a maverick. He likes to keep long hair and can be moody, but he is a nice boy at heart."
In 2008, Joaqim was arrested for possession of marijuana in Florida and during his rookie season, he was suspended by his team after getting into a verbal altercation with an assistant coach. He celebrates with finger guns, likes to party and is known to freely offers advice on how to cure hangovers.
Though, when you ask him what are the similarities between him and his father, he only talks about inheriting the athletic ability. “The biggest quality I got from my father is probably his work ethic. He was somebody who didn't have a good backhand, not a good forehand... very weird, very unorthodox kind of style to play, and people look at me and probably say the same thing about my basketball,” the Bulls player told Hindustan Times, mentioning how his unorthodox shooting style is the subject of much criticism, and that the experts describe his jump shot ugly.
"I am very lucky to have a father who was a professional athlete. Throughout my journey in basketball, I always had someone who I could talk to and I know how hard he had to work as an athlete," Joaqim adds.
Have you inherited the flamboyance too? "I guess," he quips. Has he beaten his dad in the popularity charts? "I don't really look at it that way, he's my pop,” he says.
The writer's trip is sponsored by Sony Six