The award is selected by the Professional Basketball Writers Association (PBWA) and is given to the player, coach or athletic trainer who demonstrates a commitment to community service.
Noah founded the Noah's Arc Foundation (NAF) to help support children affected by violence. The foundation recently started its "Rock Your Drop: The Drop of Consciousness" initiative, which encourages children affected by violence to use sports and art as a creative outlet.
"Joakim's initiatives to slow the violence in Chicago should inspire us all to help in our communities," PBWA president Josh Robbins said. "His creative, sustained efforts stood out in perhaps the deepest pool of worthy candidates in the 41-year history of the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award."
Noah received the award over finalists Tobias Harris, Greg Monroe, Chris Paul and Zach Randolph. Luol Deng won the award last season.
In the third quarter of Friday's 99-96
"I'm a father with three kids. It got very disrespectful," James said. "I'm OK with competing against Jo. I love the competitive nature, but we should leave it there. The disrespectful words that he said to me were uncalled for."
A few seconds later, James finished on a dunk when Noah was unable to get into position, and the Cavaliers forward stared down Noah and was called for a technical.
"The best way to retaliate is by making a play. That's the only way I know how to resolve things is by making a play to help our team," James said. "If it was the '90s or '80s, I would've been able to say what I had to say and move on. But I got the T. And I earned it."
Noah responded to James's actions with some comments and was also handed a technical. He said after the game that he had "mad respect" for James and they were just two players trying to win a game.
Coach Tom Thibodeau declined to comment on the fine or incident.
The Bulls will face the Cavaliers on Friday. The Bulls are 2-point favorites for Game 3.
Noah has just four points in the two games. He is 2-for-8 from the field and 0-for-4 from the foul line. He is averaging eight rebounds, but has been beaten consistently on the defensive glass by younger and more active Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson.
It is hoped that Noah feeds off the energy of the home crowd and performs better Friday night when the series moves to Chicago for Game 3.
But Noah, who is still struggling with his surgically repaired knee, still has the appreciation of teammate Derrick Rose.
"With Jo, he's giving us what he's got," Rose told CSNChicago.com. "He's been through a lot. For a big guy having those injuries, it takes a lot. Just his energy, his presence is a lot. He's a hell of a character, hell of a teammate and it kind of rubs off on people."
Tom Thibodeau cited Noah's nine rebounds and two blocked shots in praising him.
"I don't want to get lost in his scoring because it's never been a strong suit," he said. "It's all the other stuff he brings to the team. It's not the emotion, it's the activity. When he does that, he's very, very effective for us. It's how the team functions when he's on the floor. He doesn't have to shoot well to play well. It'll come around for him."
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