Dear Stupid (and you know who you are, Carlos Boozer),
Don’t spend the morning whining about playing time in the fourth quarter and then go out and stink on the court.
Boozer should be used to not playing in the fourth quarter, so why say something now?
Boozer has been a defensive liability forever. He screams a lot, but he’s about as effective as the Jordan statue. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau refuses to accept it, so he sits Boozer if a game is close because Taj Gibson can play defense and understands defensive principles better.
Because almost any player can play defense and understand defensive principles better.
Boozer’s spa quarters happened famously against the Heat in the playoffs going back to the Eastern Conference final. They happen against other teams, as well. They happened on the first two games of the Bulls’ current road trip.
Against San Antonio and New Orleans, Boozer sat both fourth quarters. That made it 18 fourth quarters this season in which Boozer hasn’t played a minute.
Boozer said the Bulls usually lose when he doesn’t play in the fourth quarter. The Bulls were 1-1 on the trip without Boozer getting off the bench in the fourth quarter.
Boozer played in the fourth quarter against Sacramento on Monday night. The Bulls lost. Big. Connect the dots, Carlos.
Boozer’s sitting out the fourth quarter isn’t new. Speaking out, however, was. It seemed to come out of nowhere. It was said in a muted voice and without rancor, but he had something to say about sitting, which was a surprise.
Previously, Boozer had been a good teammate in not griping about minutes. He might not have a clue how to play help defense, but he was a help by not trying to fake it and instead having a seat if the game was in question.
Until Monday. Why?
Boozer seems to see the end. The end of his Bulls career, at least.
Follow the money. That’s my thinking. Boozer is the Bulls’ most likely amnesty target and this summer is the most likely time. Boozer sounds like a guy campaigning for playing time because he knows he’ll be looking for another employer this summer and wants to let potential employers see that he can still play.
Boozer was a bad enough teammate when he never improved defensively, but using the Bulls to audition for other teams is worse.
If the Bulls use their amnesty option to dump Boozer, the power forward who refuses to play a power forward’s game would get his Bulls salary of more than $16 million, but it would not count against the Bulls’ salary cap.
Each team gets one amnesty option during a particular period of an offseason, but any team serious about jumping into a free-agent market that might include LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony will dump someone like Boozer this summer.
In response to Boozer’s comments, Thibodeau talked about sacrifice, matchups and a post game. Thibodeau said Gibson sacrifices not starting, so Boozer can sacrifice not finishing, a gentle slap.
Where the coach could’ve charred the player is railing about Boozer’s refusal to play a post game the last few years. Boozer retired to the recliner that is the mid-ranger jumper.
For those of you scoring at home, Boozer is a power forward who refuses to use his power down low to give the Bulls a dimension they badly need and compounds it by taking one of the biggest bodies away from the basket.
If you believe in basketball karma, then you’ll love what happened while you were sleeping or just diligently avoiding the ongoing useless Bulls season.
After Boozer opened his mouth in the morning to reporters, Joakim Noah opened his yap at night to the officials. The Bulls center lost his mind in the middle of the third quarter against the Kings and was ejected after playing just 18:51.
Thibodeau was forced to use Boozer for almost 35 minutes. Thirty-five miserable minutes. Boozer missed 11 of 15 shots. He could not hit double-digits in scoring, nor could he reach double-digits in rebounds. In a game in which the Bulls missed 50 shots, Boozer had one -- count 'em, one -- offensive rebound.
And if you subscribe to the NBA’s version of a plus-minus stat, then you’ll love this: Boozer was a team-worst minus-33, meaning the Kings outscored the Bulls by 33 with Boozer on the court.
Tip to Boozer: Shut up and sit down.