Joakim Noah won't talk Carmelo pitch

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CHICAGO -- Joakim Noah does not want to address the "gossip" surrounding a conversation he reportedly had All-Star Weekend with New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony.

"You want me to address that?" Noah said at Friday's shootaround in response to a question about  an ESPN.com report Thursday that said he told Anthony he could win a championship if he signed with the Bulls as a free agent after the season. "I don't feel like addressing it. I really have nothing to say about it."

Noah was asked if the reported recruiting pitch for Anthony had, in fact, happened, and he didn't deny the conversation took place.

"Doesn't matter," Noah said. "What does that have to do with our team right now? It doesn't matter."

Anthony, speaking to media Friday night after the Knicks beat the Jazz 108-81, also declined to directly address the report but denied the substance of it, saying "I can't have that conversation."

"I heard about that one, too," Anthony said. "Every day it's a story. Every day it's going to be a new story. I have no information about that. I don't know how that story got out there who started that story. I don't know. I really don't know what to say about it."

Coach Tom Thibodeau also tried to brush it off.

"It's a bunch of nonsense," Thibodeau said. "People just start throwing stuff out there and then they wait for everyone to respond to it. If you waste your time on stuff like that, then you're not thinking about Memphis. So that's all we're thinking about: 'Think about Memphis.'"

The Bulls play the Grizzlies on Friday night.

Thibodeau said he tries to prepare players for the rumors that can constantly swirl throughout the course of a season.

"At the beginning of the year, at our first meeting, we talk about all those things," he said. "Because it's predictable -- it's going to happen every year. 

"It's very easy to get knocked off track in this league if you allow yourself to be knocked off track."

Noah tried to take the talk in stride, though it seemed he was being careful not to mention Anthony's name during his session with the media.

"A lot of gossip right now," he said. "I feel it. A lot of gossip.

"I think we all know we're in a good place. Our team is in a good place. We got a healthy group, it's a healthy environment. We're not going to let gossip get in the way of what we're doing. We've gone through so much this year, so it's not going to be a little gossip that's going to get in our way."

Noah was asked if he would be comfortable recruiting potential free agents after July 1, the day the free-agency bonanza begins.

"July First?" Noah said. "Really? We're talking about July 1st right now? Come on now. I understand you guys are doing your jobs, but I got to do my job."

Regardless of any speculation, Noah believes the team will continue to focus on basketball.

"We feel like we've got exciting times coming up. We've got great teams coming in, and like I said from the beginning, we're not taking none of these experiences, playing in the UC, we're not taking none of these experiences for granted," he said. "So we're enjoying playing with each other, and what happens in the future happens, but right now it's a good time to be a Chicago Bull."

Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Ian Begley was used in this report.

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