The final season for Carlos Boozer with the Chicago Bulls did not go according to plan for the veteran power forward who found himself stuck to the bench in the fourth quarter and was amnestied in the offseason, a move that says “humbled him.”
“It was (difficult). It was at times,” Boozer said via ESPN on Friday as he was introduced by the Los Angeles Lakers. “But you learn a lot. I was humbled a lot and I grew a lot as a man and as an individual. So, I take all that with me in my new experience.”
With Taj Gibson playing the second and fourth quarters last year for the Bulls, Boozer was relegated to a reserve role despite the fact he was still starting. He didn’t play meaningful minutes and wasn’t trusted on the defensive end, which often drew the ire of head coach Tom Thibodeau.
“Playing first quarter and third quarter, not having a chance to help my team at the end of the game to win was tough,” Boozer said. “As a competitor, you want to be out there doing everything you can to help your team win and to not get an opportunity, it was humbling. So, I learned a lot from that process.”
He was the target from the fan base who believed he was overpaid and didn’t put in the work necessary to justify his hefty contract. Boozer had one year left on the five-year deal he signed worth $75 million when the team failed to sign LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in the free agent class of 2010.
Boozer averaged 15.5 points and nine rebounds in his four years with the Bulls, but had no ill feelings about how the relationship ended.
“Chicago was great about everything,” Boozer said. “They’re a great organization, first class.