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Carlos Boozer

A photo of Carlos Boozer.

Carlos Austin Boozer, Jr. (born November 20, 1981) is an American professional basketball player with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. As a member of the Team USA, Boozer won an Olympic bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics and an Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Biography

Although born at a military base in Aschaffenburg, West Germany, Boozer grew up in Juneau, Alaska, Alaska,[1] in the US. As a child, Boozer and his father practiced outside at his local middle school, throughout the cold Alaska seasons. He attended Juneau-Douglas High School. Boozer was married to his wife CeCe for six years before he filed for divorce in March 2009, although the two are reportedly trying to reconcile.[2] Boozer has three children.[3][4][5] He also has a younger brother, Charles, who previously played basketball for the Iowa State Cyclones but left the program following his May 2010 arrest for assaulting a woman by slapping and kicking her.[6]

High school and college basketball

Boozer was a two-time member of the PARADE All-American high school basketball team, leading the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears to back-to-back state titles. He was recruited by many top-tier collegiate basketball programs,[4] including St. John's and UCLA, but Boozer elected to play for coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke University, helping the team win the 2001 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship.

In 2001–02, Boozer, Jason Williams, and Mike Dunleavy, Jr. each scored at least 600 points for the season, a feat only matched at Duke by Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler, and Nolan Smith in the 2009–10 season.[7]

NBA career

Drafted by Cleveland

Boozer declared for the 2002 NBA Draft, relinquishing his final year of NCAA eligibility. He was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the NBA draft, where he played two full seasons. Boozer averaged 10.0 ppg and 7.5 rpg in his rookie campaign, and followed it up with 15.5 ppg and 11.4 rpg his second year while playing alongside LeBron James.

Free agency controversy

After the 2003–04 NBA season, the Cavaliers had the option of allowing him to become a restricted free agent, or keeping him under contract for one more year at a $695,000 salary. The Cavaliers claimed to have reached an understanding with Boozer and his agent on a deal for approximately $39 million over 6 years, which he would have signed if they let him out of his current deal.

Cleveland then proceeded to release him from his contract making him a restricted free agent. During this period, the Utah Jazz offered Boozer a 6-year, $70 million contract that Cleveland chose not to match due to salary cap considerations.[8]

Carlos Boozer signed with Utah on July 24, 2004.[9]

Boozer denied that he made any commitment to the Cavaliers: "There was no commitment. It's unfortunate how the turn of events went through the media," Boozer said shortly after signing the deal with Utah. "I'm not a guy that gives my word and takes it away. I think I've made that clear."[10] Boozer's agent, Rob Pelinka, subsequently ceased representation, although Pelinka has resumed representing Boozer as of July 2009, when he was eligible for another contract extension.

In addition, former Cavaliers owner Gordon Gund has said, "In the final analysis, I decided to trust Carlos and show him the respect he asked for. He did not show that trust and respect in return."[11]

Utah Jazz (2004–2010)

In his first season with the Jazz (2004–05), Boozer averaged 17 points and 9 rebounds, showing promise and the ability to be the go-to guy, while learning a new system. However, he suffered an injury, missing the later part of the season, which contributed to the Jazz missing the playoffs for only the second time in 22 years, and he was publicly criticized for a lack of effort by team owner Larry Miller.

As the 2005–06 NBA season began, Boozer was still recovering from injury, and then aggravated a hamstring, causing him to miss the first half of that season as well. He returned to action in late February, easing into action by coming off the bench for the Jazz. In the middle of March, he was placed back into the starting lineup. From that point, he finished the season in impressive fashion, averaging over 20 points and almost 10 rebounds per game and firmly establishing himself as the Jazz's starting power forward once again.

Boozer got off to a strong start in the 2006–07 season, winning the Western Conference Player of the Week Award and helping the Jazz to win eleven of their first twelve games. Boozer was named part of the NBA All-Star roster as a reserve, but could not participate because of a hairline fracture in his left fibula.

In an April 23, 2007 game vs. the Houston Rockets (game two of the first round of the 2007 playoffs), Boozer scored 41 points, tying the career high he had set a month earlier on March 26 (vs. the Washington Wizards). He also led the Jazz past the Rockets in game 7 of the first round in the NBA Playoffs, scoring 35 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and two clutch free throws to secure the victory in Boozer's first playoff series.

The Jazz would go on to win their 2nd round series against the upstart Golden State Warriors, 4 games to 1, and advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1998. Even though they lost 4 games to 1 to the more experienced San Antonio Spurs, Boozer proved valuable and durable. He ended the season averaging 20.9 points per game, 11.7 rebounds, and playing in 74 of 82 games. He was even better in the playoffs, increasing his output to 23.5 points and 12.2 rebounds per night and appearing in all 17 Jazz playoff games.

In November, early in the 2007–08 season, Boozer was named Western Conference Player of the Month.[12] By mid-December, he was among the league's top five performers in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage. Although he later slipped in all of these categories, he continued to produce solid numbers, and he currently has the second-most double-doubles of any player in the league (behind Dwight Howard) with 40. Boozer was again chosen as a backup in the All-Star Game, finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds in just 19 minutes of play.[13] He registered his first career triple-double against the Seattle SuperSonics on February 13, 2008, with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.[14]

In the playoffs, the Jazz faced the Houston Rockets in the first round for the 2nd year in a row. Determined to not allow him to beat them, the Rockets geared their defense more to stopping Boozer and his production was somewhat limited (16.0 pts and 11.7 rebounds per game), but the Jazz defeated the Rockets, 4–2. In the second round of the 2008 NBA playoffs the Jazz lost to the top seeded Los Angeles Lakers in 6 games.

During the 2008–09 season, Boozer's ability to stay healthy was questioned by fans and media alike, as he missed 44 games following arthroscopic left knee surgery. He missed time from late November 2008 to late February 2009. When he played, his numbers were 16.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists, in 37 games (all starts). With his possible pending free agency at the end of the season looming, it seemed likely Boozer would leave. However, when the deadline for choosing free agency or opting into the remaining year came, he surprised many by opting in for the 2009–10 season with the Jazz. The Jazz management stated publicly they were happy to have him return and play for them, and Boozer did the same.

For the 2009–10 season, Boozer seemed to avoid distraction about his lame-duck status, with no reports of an extension looming with the Jazz. He played well, averaging 19.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game, and shot 56.2% from the field, a career high. He played in 78 of 82 games and avoided injury, which boded well heading into the 2010 summer, when he would rank as one of the top 5–6 players available.

Chicago Bulls (2010–2014)

Boozer joined the Chicago Bulls on July 8, 2010. The deal was brokered as a sign-and-trade with Boozer's former team, the Utah Jazz. Chicago received Boozer and a future second round pick in exchange for sending Utah a trade exception in the neighborhood of $13–14 million.[15][16][17]

Los Angeles Lakers (2014-present)

On July 17, 2014, Boozer was claimed off amnesty waivers by the Los Angeles Lakers.

USA Basketball

Boozer was selected as a member of the 2004 USA Olympic men's basketball team which won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympic Games. He was also named to the 2006–08 USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team,[18] but did not compete in the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship due to his wife's pregnancy.[5] Boozer did participate in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games as the USA went unbeaten en route to the gold medal, defeating 2006 World Champion Spain for their first gold medal since the 2000 Olympics.[19]

Player profile

Since his 2002–03 rookie year, Boozer has finished the season among the NBA's top ten performers in field goal percentage six times[20][21][22][23][24] and has been among the top ten rebounders twice.[25][26] He is highly regarded by scouts and sports journalists for his strength, rebounding and offensive skill set. For example, David Thorpe, an analyst for ESPN.com, lists Boozer among the "game's best post players"[27] and among the best at scoring (or "finishing") under the basket using either hand.[28] Boozer credits his father for helping him develop his ambidextrous ability.[1] Boozer is represented by Rob Pelinka.[29]

Media appearances

In the 2006–07 NBA season, Boozer appeared in the NBA Fundamentals series hosted by TNT, in which NBA players explain certain aspects of basketball. He explained the topic "post play". In this clip, Boozer highlighted the technique of how to establish position in the low post, and how to most effectively score from that position. Boozer showcased his array of ambidextrous slam dunks and hook shots, and reminded viewers to insert an occasional jump shot to confuse the opponent. He also expressed his admiration of retired NBA greats Karl Malone and Charles Barkley, who he sees as masters of low post scoring, as well as contemporary colleagues Lamar Odom and Chauncey Billups.

Awards and honors

  • Third Team: 2008

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high
Last updated June 27, 2010

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2002–03 Cleveland 81 54 25.3 .536 .000 .771 7.5 1.3 .7 .6 10.0
2003–04 Cleveland 75 75 34.6 .523 .167 .768 11.4 2.0 1.0 .7 15.5
2004–05 Utah 51 51 34.7 .521 .000 .698 9.0 2.8 .8 .5 17.8
2005–06 Utah 33 19 31.1 .549 .000 .723 8.6 2.7 .9 .2 16.3
2006–07 Utah 74 74 34.6 .561 .000 .685 11.7 3.0 .9 .3 20.9
2007–08 Utah 81 81 34.9 .547 .000 .738 10.4 2.9 1.2 .5 21.1
2008–09 Utah 37 37 32.4 .490 .000 .698 10.4 2.1 1.0 .2 16.2
2009–10 Utah 78 78 34.3 .562 .000 .742 11.2 3.2 1.1 .5 19.5
Career 510 469 32.7 .541 .111 .728 10.2 2.5 1.0 .5 17.2
All-Star 1 0 19.0 .467 .000 .000 10.0 .0 .0 .0 14.0

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2006–07 Utah 17 17 38.5 .536 .000 .738 12.2 2.9 1.0 .3 23.5
2007–08 Utah 12 12 36.8 .415 .000 .714 12.3 2.8 .5 .2 16.0
2008–09 Utah 5 5 37.2 .528 .000 .771 13.2 2.2 1.6 .4 20.6
2009–10 Utah 10 10 40.2 .530 .000 .534 13.2 3.0 .4 .7 19.7
Career 44 44 38.2 .502 .000 .707 12.7 2.7 .9 .4 20.0

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Buckley, Tim (April 13, 2007). "Ability to use both hands has aided Boozer". Deseret Morning News. http://www.deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,660211447,00.html. Retrieved July 28, 2007. 
  2. Utah Jazz: Boozers attempting to reconcile
  3. Utah Jazz: Boozer says personal life not affecting game. March 29, 2009. Retrieved on March 31, 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Biographical NBA video produced by TNT
  5. 5.0 5.1 Buckley, Tim (July 18, 2007). "Boozer skipping USA minicamp". Deseret Morning News. http://www.deseretnews.com/dn/view/0,1249,695192948,00.html. Retrieved July 28, 2007. 
  6. Charles Boozer Leaves Iowa State After Assault Charge
  7. "Notes: Duke 78, Baylor 71 – Duke University Blue Devils | Official Athletics Site". GoDuke.com. http://www.goduke.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=22724&SPID=1845&DB_OEM_ID=4200&ATCLID=204918040. Retrieved March 29, 2010. 
  8. "Cavs out after 'understanding' falls apart – NBA – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. July 11, 2004. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=1836318. Retrieved April 6, 2010. 
  9. USA Today. October 24, 2007. http://asp.usatoday.com/sports/basketball/nba/salaries/playerdetail.aspx?player=39. 
  10. NBA – Cleveland Cavaliers/Utah Jazz Preview Saturday January 15, 2005 – Yahoo! Sports
  11. Gund: Trust with Boozer 'was broken'
  12. Dwight Howard, Boozer Named Players of the Month, NBA.com, Dec. 3, 2007
  13. ESPN – 2008 All-Star Game Box Score
  14. Boozer's first career triple-double highlights Utah's blowout of Sonics
  15. [1]
  16. http://www.nba.com/2010/news/07/07/boozer.bulls/index.html#?ls=iref:nbahpt2
  17. [2]
  18. 2006–08 USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team roster
  19. US hoops back on top, beats Spain for gold medal
  20. 2002–03 NBA FG % leaders
  21. 2003–04 NBA FG % leaders
  22. 2004–05 NBA FG % leaders
  23. 2006–07 NBA FG % leaders
  24. 2007–08 NBA Regular Season – FG% leaders
  25. 2003–04 NBA rebounding leaders
  26. 2006–07 NBA rebounding leaders
  27. Thorpe, David (March 9, 2007). "Scouting breakdown: The game's best post players". ESPN.com. http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=thorpe_david&page=ScoutingPost. Retrieved July 28, 2007. 
  28. Thorpe, David (April 6, 2007). "Scouting: Bucket getters and weak-hand finishers". ESPN.com. http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/columns/story?columnist=thorpe_david&page=ScoutingPost4. Retrieved July 28, 2007. 
  29. "Rob Pelinka". DraftExpress LLC. http://www.draftexpress.com/agents/Rob-Pelinka-99/. Retrieved July 23, 2008. 

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