The Knicks always start their training camp with a weeklong session at the U.S. Military Academy, and each year they close with a team dinner with cadets, including a speech by a current or former officer. This year, new Knicks center was the only player not to attend the dinner, and he had his reasons.
“I have a lot of respect for the kids who are out here fighting. But it’s hard for me to understand why we have to go to war, why kids have to kill kids around the world,” Noah said. “So I have mixed feelings about being here. I’m very proud of this country. I love America but I just don’t understand kids killing kids around the world.”
“I’m not anti-troops. It’s just not comfortable for me to see kids going to war and coming back having seen what they’ve seen and done what they’ve done. It’s sad for me. It’s sad for me. They’re just sent out for things that are — I don’t really want to get into it, to be honest with you. It’s just hard for me.”
Noah, a committed pacifist, said he’s begged off previous military-related events in his NBA career. Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek says Noah informed the Knicks of his decision not to attend this one, and “that’s his right...he just didn’t feel comfortable.”