Just in case you were wondering, yes, Carlos Boozer is still an idiot.
Before LeBron James decided to "take his talents," along with his mother's right cross, to South Beach, Boozer was widely considered the biggest demon in the NBA because of his behavior. When Boozer made a handshake agreement with Gordon Gund to sign a new deal – a move Gund was only making to help his star second-round pick out with more money – and then turned around and reneged on this deal, he instantly took his place among the most hated people in Cleveland sports.
Boozer was making second-round pick money despite emerging as one of the top rebounding forwards in the league. So Gund initiated talks with Boozer on a new contract. What would happen was that the Cavaliers would void Boozer's contract (making him a restricted free agent) and ink him to a new deal that would significantly increase the dollars Boozer would earn and keep him in Cleveland for a long time.
However, when Boozer hit the free agent market Lary Miller and the Utah Jazz swooped in with a larger deal, one the Cavs could not match due to the salary cap implications. Instead of honoring his deal with Gund, as a man of his word would do, Boozer took advantage of the situation by accepting Utah's offer and heading to Salt Lake City.
Yes, he took advantage of the generosity of a blind man.
Boozer made his money in Utah and ended up leaving Salt Lake City as a free agent, joining the Chicago Bulls this off-season. And, of course, the fans in Utah ended up hating him as well. In fact, their distaste for Boozer actually started when he was still in Utah. After a knee injury limited him to just 37 games two seasons ago, Boozer spent most of the summer demanding trades and telling the Jazz where he would like to go. He still had a year remaining on the six-year, $70 million deal that caused him to screw over the Cavs and he wanted to leave the Jazz despite his injury-plagued tenure with the team.
Karma is a bitch, and Utah learned this lesson courtesy of Boozer, who missed an average of 23 games per season during his six-year stay in Salt Lake City (138 total games missed).
Boozer had an option year on his deal that could have kept him with the Jazz, but made no bones about the fact that he wanted to chase the money.
"I'm opting out. No matter what, I'm going to get a raise regardless," Boozer said of his future prior to the start of the 2009-10 season. "I am going to opt out; I don't see why I wouldn't. I think it's a very good business decision for me and my family, but I'd also like to see what happens with the Jazz and stay here."
One radio host on 1320 KFAN, the Jazz' flagship radio station, once called Boozer "the most polarizing sports figure in the history of the state of Utah – bar none." When learning of Boozer's departure, Jazz fan Chris Cook told The Desert News, "(Boozer) just wanted out. I don't think he felt respected by the fans here, but he didn't work hard enough to earn our respect."
Now Boozer is in Chicago, and his Bulls wrapped up the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a win over Cleveland at Quicken Loans Arena Friday night. His team as able to secure home court advantage until, at least, the NBA Finals should they make it that far.
The Bulls are a very talented team that plays sound, fundamental basketball on both ends of the floor. They also seem to have a sense of closeness, both on the floor and away from the arena.
Boozer was asked about this closeness and, of course, he couldn't just give the standard answer. He had to get in some kind of a shot at someone...anyone.
"The good thing about our team is that we've got all good guys," he said. "To be honest, we don't have any jerks on the team. I mean, in the NBA that's rare."
You get that? Boozer is finally on a team without any jerks. How could he have been expected to win in Cleveland or Utah with one or more of those pesky jerks around?
Maybe this wasn't that big of a deal and maybe I am reading more into this than there actually is, but if you were one of Boozer's former NBA teammates, wouldn't you be wondering exactly what he meant by this statement? Who was he talking about?
This is just typical Boozer. He's a guy that has never really worried about much, except for what he had to gain, personally, in whatever situation he was in. And if his Bulls teammates and the fans of the team are smart they will realize what kind of person they are dealing with, and prepare for the big let-down. Because it is coming, probably sooner than later.
And, Carlos, just something to think about. The 2010-11 Chicago Bulls do have at least one jerk on the team. I will leave it up to you and your Duke education to figure out who it is.
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