For the first time since he left the Utah Jazz and signed with the Bulls as a free agent, Carlos Boozer will be in Salt Lake City tonight as a visiting player.
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, a former Bull, and Boozer had nice things to say about each other. From Sloan:
"The only thing that happened is people were on his butt because he didn't play," Sloan said after Wednesday's shoot-around. "When he played, I never had a problem at all. He was a terrific guy to coach and a heckuva player.
"My relationship with him was fine. We weren't dinner buddies or anything like that. But we appreciated what he brought to our team every night. When you lose a player of that ability, it's not easy to replace. He's a team basketball player. I never thought he was a selfish guy."
Meanwhile, Boozer thinks hearing "Boo" will really sound like "Booz":
"It’s all ‘Booz’ to me,” he said Tuesday after practice. "It’ll be a fun night. I’m looking forward to it. . . . I’ll probably hear some cheers and probably hear some boos. Most arenas we go in we hear some boos, so I’m not worried about it. I’m looking forward to it."
Boozer is one of three members of the "Chicago Jazz" making their first appearance in Utah after signing with the Bulls. Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer, though, figure to be cheered.
"Going in, we already wanted to win this game a little more than all the other ones anyway," Brewer said. "Especially now, since the way we’ve been playing the last two games. There’s a greater focus of what we have to do, and the task at hand is to win the game."
Boozer is right. The Bulls have played poorly the last two games and have not lost three in a row all season. It's time for the Bulls to step up and win these tough games on the road if they have any designs on going deep into the playoffs.
Tonight's game begins at 8 p.m. CST and will be televised on CSN Chicago Plus.