When I first took this job writing for Pippen Ain’t Easy, I would wonder…how could I keep coming up with things to write about this bunch? Now understand at the time the Bulls were WAY below .500. Derrick Rose had just blown out his knee and to be totally honest at the time, the team was very difficult to watch. Boy was I wrong. Really wrong. This has to be the most entertaining team in the NBA. To all the Miami fans out there saying no. I say you are so wrong. The Chicago Bulls could make the NBA millions if they would just have a reality show. These guys have so many subplots that in my opinion if a Chicago sportswriter goes to their editor and say they have nothing, they should be fired on the spot. Last night I saw something that really made me believe that this organization is must see TV, must see social media, must read Pippen Ain’t Easy, the best choice for Bulls news, previews and reviews.
I was reading an article from my esteemed colleague Josh Hill here at FanSided that according to Steve Kyler of the Basketball Insiders, Gar Forman the General Manager of the Chicago Bulls is on the hot seat. One of the reasons that has his employment status in question is because of the contract that was given to Carlos Boozer. As the Founder and President of the Carlos Boozer fan club “The Legion of Booz” I have this to say…COME ON MAN!
First off, in my opinion the only reason Gar Forman would be out in the street is because the organization can save a lot of money just shedding his salary and give total control to John Paxson. Gar Forman never knocked down jumpers to win titles for the Bulls. John Paxson did. Remember game five against the Los Angeles Lakers back 91? Who did Jordan pass to? Yep John Paxson. How about back in 93 against the Phoenix Suns led by Charles Barkley? It wasn’t Jordan who hit that game winning shot in game six. It was John Paxson. John Paxson moved up the organization being an assistant coach to the front office. He has the experience. Do you really need Forman?
Why is it that everything that is negative gets tied to Carlos Boozer? At the time, Carlos Boozer earned his contract. Get mad if you want to. Like anyone else would have passed on that contract. It is not Carlos’ fault that Forman thought he was the missing piece that the Bulls needed. It was not Carlos’ fault that the Bulls ponied up the money to sign him. It’s not like he robbed the organization. That would be illegal and wrong too. The Bulls who was at the time being run by Gar Forman signed Carlos Boozer. Here’s why…
1) Carlos Boozer was a double-double machine.
People tend to forget that Boozer was a two-time All-Star in Utah. People forget that in the 2006-07 season he led the Jazz to the Western Conference finals. When 2010 came along he was one of the top five or six free agents available. Since his rookie year back in 2002-03 Boozer has been a top ten performer in shooting percentage ten times and rebounding five times. He still to this day is the best low post player the Bulls have. Granted he doesn’t use those low post moves. But he has them.
2) Carlos is a business person. That’s not his fault though.
Remember the Cleveland Cavaliers situation? Yeah, that’s right, he was drafted in the second round by Cleveland. You see, the rules are a little different contract wise for second round draftees. First round players have their contracts already set. Second round players do not based on the fact that a lot of the contracts aren’t guaranteed. Plus they are cheap. Ask Erik Murphy. The Cavaliers had a choice, allow him to become a restricted free agent or keep him under contract for 695,000. They were the ones that allowed him to become a free agent. They claim to have had an understanding that he was to sign a six-year 39 million dollar contract. It’s not his fault that Utah was going to pay 70 million. Now the Cavs are mad. Let’s do the math 70 million is 31 million more than 39 million. Umm. Nuff said.
3) Carlos Boozer plays well in the pick and roll. Chicago plays motion offense.
Look the Chicago Bulls brought in a player that had played in the same pick and roll system for six years. The system that Jerry Sloan had put together was as famous as Phil Jackson’s triangle offense. It was so structured you can use me and any of you reading this in position for it to succeed. Carlos who was teamed up with Deron Williams combined to be one of the deadliest duos in the NBA. Boozer was a bi product of the system. Forman bought into it. That’s not Boozer’s fault. The Chicago Bulls had two different offenses since Boozer arrived in Chicago. One was the roll the ball to Derrick Rose and let him do all of the work and Boozer gets in where he fits in. Two is roll the ball to Joakim Noah and let him make all the decisions and Boozer gets in where he fits in. He didn’t play good defense in Utah. Everyone was excited about the signing before Boozer showed up. What happened? That’s like Mike D’Antoni getting mad at his team for not playing defense knowing good and well he doesn’t coach it.
4) Finally, Carlos Boozer’s body was breaking down even in Utah.
Yep. Carlos was injury prone back then. Fans was all over him. The media were criticizing him. (Does this seem familiar to anyone?) This was going on long before Gar Forman gave Boozer that contract. He was injured off and on throughout his career in Utah from a broken leg to knee surgery. Don’t blame Boozer for getting while the getting was good.
If the Chicago Bulls do fire Gar Forman (in my opinion I don’t think they will) stop using Boozer as an excuse. He was worthy of the contract at the time. That’s what playing for a contract means. He may have relaxed after he got it. But that’s NBA basketball. With the exception of his first year, he has played nearly every game for the Bulls. I will repeat. He will always look bad defensively compared to Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah. Use what he can do for the playoffs, score the basketball. The Legion of Booz has spoken!