In an interview with the Tribune, Noah for the first time revealed the five-year, $60 million extension he signed in October 2010 and which began this season contributed to his struggles.
"Yeah, no question, I thought about that," Noah said. "Sometimes you feel like because you're given so much money you're expected to do things. That's not the right mentality to have as a player.
"I have to play my game. I have to have fun out there. If I don't, I'm not the same player."
"In the beginning of the year, I was overthinking a lot. I was going through a lot of things personally. I feel a lot more comfortable now. I have to stop overthinking and just play."
Noah wouldn't go into specifics of the personal matters that weighed on him. But given that Noah posted just one double-double in his first 12 games and has notched seven in his last 10, plenty has changed.
KC goes on to address possible early-season conditioning problems for Noah, but Noah insists that wasn't the issue.
I suppose the early-season failings of, specifically, not holding onto the ball or missing tip-ins could be more attributed to the mental than physical, though I guess we'll never know. This does speak to the theory that Noah could be impacted in the future by any Dwight Howard trade rumors, an idea I had thought was pretty insulting to Noah but apparently isn't that outlandish.
I should emphasize that the contract extension (and any initial criticism thereof) was signed at the beginning of the 2010-11 season.
(ht: MartyMonday's destroyed FanShot, it went out a hero)