Well Pippen Peoples, it has been a great run. The season ended Tuesday night with a 75-69 loss to the Washington Wizards. Now that the season is over, now the real fun begins. All of the questions lead to the Chicago Bulls front office. The duo of Gar Forman and John Paxson are going to be under the spotlight all summer and we here at Pippen Ain’t Easy will be right there providing the analysis and our expert opinion on what should happen with the two first round draft picks (16th and 19th) in this June’s draft. We will see if Nikola Mirotic will FINALLY come over after three years or will he sit in Europe for another year while management figures out how they will financially go forward the next season. How about those free agents? I hear that Carmelo Anthony just happens to be weighing his options these days. What moves will the management tag team GarPax do to fit him into the salary cap? We’ll have to see later on this summer. Now I want to talk about a guy that has been the most polarizing figure since I’ve been Editor here at Pippen Ain’t Easy. You either love him or hate him. His name…
In Game five, when Taj Gibson went down with that awful ankle injury, the game that had all of the excitement of clipping toenails got very interesting. I know every Bulls fan was waiting to see if Tom Thibodeau was going to let Carlos Boozer in the fourth quarter after the street lights came on. I can’t lie, I wanted Carlos Boozer to come in get his twenty points and lead the Bulls to the win. I was going to talk so much trash in the Legion of Booz report. I told God Almighty that if Boozer went off, I would write all night long. Then it happened…
I looked at Carlos’ body language. He wanted no parts of the basketball. Sadly, he froze. He missed two of three shots including a lay up late. He had a turnover and he was not aggressive. I could defend him and say you can’t expect a guy to come in under the situation that Thibodeau put him in after all this time and expect him to do anything. But as a guy that tells it like it is, that wasn’t the case. He didn’t want it. Even if he would have started gunning to spite Thibodeau who we all know by now he can’t stand, I would have been cool with it. If you are going to go down, go down with no bullets left. I felt cheated and let down. In what NEEDS to be his last game as a Bull, Carlos scored ten points and grabbed nine rebounds. However, he will regret this shot he missed. He had a GOLDEN opportunity to stick it to Thibodeau, Bulls management and all the fans that has been riding him for the past couple of years. I can only imagine what he was thinking when he bailed out of the United Center without talking to the media. Maybe, “I’m really going to hear it now!” As bad as all of this was, according to A. Issac, Senior Editor of Guyism website reported that his girlfriend might have been gone “Ron Artest” fighting in the stands behind the Bulls bench early in the fourth quarter. Cue the “Stand By Your Man” music right here. My personal favorite version was the “Blues Brothers” version. Boy the Chicago links just keep coming don’t they?
As the Executive Advocate of the Legion of Booz, I have something to say and it will make all parties being the Legion of Booz, the Leroy-alist party led by Leroy Boyd, Pippen Peoples, Bulls fans, Tom Thibodeau and Carlos Boozer happy. Amnesty Carlos Boozer immediately. I understand that the Bulls have a window in the offseason to amnesty him but word around the campfire is that the Bulls are going to try to trade him first. Either way, Carlos Boozer can’t be on the Bulls roster next year. This is not a good fit for Carlos Boozer or the Chicago Bulls.
It never was.
Leroy Boyd and I went back and forth for weeks talking about Boozer’s game and how he affected the Bulls. The thing is we were both right. At this stage in his career, scoring and occasional rebounding was the only thing that Boozer could give the Bulls. He’s an undersized big man who couldn’t post up because of the lack of offensive structure. Plus with the little league splitting of playing time by Thibodeau which was a mistake for both players messed with Boozer’s rhythm. He had no chance to succeed. Furthermore, if we all think about it, Boozer stopped believing in Thibodeau. Taj Gibson trusts Thibodeau and his system. Joakim Noah trusts Thibodeau (for now) and how things are run. But if I was the only center in the NBA who had the ball in my hands running the offense, I’d roll with Thibodeau too. Think back to when all those trade rumors were floating around in Chicago. Carlos shut down. He stopped playing hard to be honest and probably was looking out for his own interests. You would too, if you felt that you weren’t being appreciated. When he wasn’t traded, he picked it up a bit. But the damage was done. The rift between the two was noticeable by then. It was made obvious when Boozer called out Thibodeau for the substitution patterns which kept him on the bench in the fourth quarter. This is example number one that shows that Boozer must go.
His postseason stats were bad. Boozer averaged 9.6 points and 7.8 rebounds on 42.6% shooting. The easy way out is to blame Boozer for his struggles but that really is not the case. The offense in itself stunk up the playoffs. The lack of a point guard that could run the offense efficiently along with an offense even a first grader could figure out, left not just Boozer but all of the Bulls players out in the desert with no shade or lemonade. By then Boozer had his bags packed and was ready for vacation. This is example number two that shows that Boozer must go.
Amnesty by theory is the easiest option except everyone is forgetting one big obstacle, Jerry Reinsdorf. Do any of you really think that he is going to be happy to pay 16.8 million dollars to someone to just walk to another team (Miami? Los Angeles Lakers?) free and clear? Forget everyone else involved, I’m talking about an owner that is notoriously cheap. Remember, Ronnie Brewer cleared a whopping 67 thousand dollars this year. In NBA term that means he can go to the movies…by himself. He wasn’t going to pay Luol Deng and everybody liked him. Think about it.
The Bulls could try to trade him. But for what? The way the Bulls portrayed him as a bum who played no defense and downplayed his offense. What self-respecting General Manager do you know in the NBA circles is going to give up their assets when he’s five minutes from being amnestied anyway? Let’s take this the other way, if the Bulls are so intent on keeping their salary to a minimum to sign Carmelo Anthony (allegedly) why take on more salary? Makes no sense. If the Bulls didn’t care about bringing back salary, they would have sent Mike Dunleavy to Houston because they wanted him bad enough that something could have been worked out.
This is a divorce that needs to happen. Carlos Boozer should be gone this offseason but it is not a guarantee. Personally, because it was so much fun writing articles that got under peoples skin talking about Boozer, I would like him to stay. Now admit it Pippen Peoples when Boozer came out in the fourth quarter, you all thought about the Legion of Booz. Come on, tell the truth. But as a NBA fan that takes pride in analyzing the Bulls for the last few months, Carlos Boozer it’s time for you to leave and the Legion of Booz to disband.