On one side of the Bulls locker room was Taj Gibson, with a towel wrapped around his head, looking like death itself.

Across from him was Nate Robinson, looking none too healthy himself after a national audience witnessed him vomiting on the sideline during a timeout.

And next to Robinson was Joakim Noah, fired up, emotional and inspired, but mostly ready.

“I’m ready to play. I’m ready to play right now. That’s my emotions,” Noah said in a serious tone. “We’re a team of fighters. We keep getting punched in the face, but we fight back. I’m proud of this team and we’re going to go into a hostile environment in Brooklyn, and we’re going to win.

“It’s going to take just all of us sticking together through all kinds of adversity. This has been a hard year—it’s been a real hard year—but I’m really proud of this team. We’re a team of fighters and tonight was disappointing. We wanted to close it out, get ready for the next series, but we’re playing against a very talented group. But we think we’re capable,” the All-Star center continued. “I’m ready. I’m ready. I want to play right now.

“I’m just ready to kick some [expletive].”

This comes after a “Flu Game” of another type for the Bulls, one in which they lost, but not just one player—sure, that player was Michael Jordan, but he was just one man, not to mention the fact that it was more of a “Food Poisoning Game”—but three were afflicted with a bug of some sort.