Over three decades later, Noah, now 31, represents his birth city. The center signed with the Knicks in July.
Noah went down the basketball route instead of tennis, which proved to be a smart idea. With two All-Star Game appearances, an NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, an All-NBA First Team nod, two NCAA Championships and a NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player Award, basketball has been good to Noah.
Noah explained to ThePostGame his tennis relationship with his dad, who won the 1983 French Open:
ThePostGame: The U.S. Open is going on right now. How good were you at tennis back in the day, and do you go to the US Open?
JOAKIM NOAH: I love going to the U.S. Open but I suck at tennis. [I'm] really sh*tty.
TPG: What does Dad [Yannick Noah] say about that?
NOAH: You know, he was always somebody who told me to follow my heart and work hard. It didn't matter if it was anything. Whether it was school or basketball. Just everything you do, you just gotta give it 150 percent. And that's a lesson I learned from my pops. But he never imposed tennis on me, or anything like that.
TPG: Is he any good at basketball?
NOAH: Yeah, he would kick my ass when I was young. But then I started getting a little taller, putting on a little weight. He couldn't bully me anymore [on the court], and when he couldn't bully me anymore, it was over.
No way Yannick would be able to handle Joakim on the basketball court nowadays. Although, it would be interesting to see them battle on a tennis court. Yannick, who is France's Davis Cup team captain, is 56, and maybe Joakim could take him in a five-setter.
Noah talked to ThePostGame at the adidas Athletics launch in New York City. Along with Timberwolves star Andrew Wiggins, gold medalist sprinter Tori Bowie, junior tennis star Coco Shilin, former No. 1 NFL pick Keyshawn Johnson, DJ Metro Boomin and rapper Fetty Wap, Noah debuted the adidas Z.N.E. hoodie. The hoodie became available to the public on Sept. 7.
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.