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Carlos Boozer
As told to Chris Mannix
May 21, 2007
An NCAA champion at Duke, the second Alaskan player to make the NBA, the guy who left Cleveland wanting (the Cavs say he bolted as a free agent in 2004 after verbally agreeing to stay), Utah Jazz power forward Carlos Boozer is now in his first NBA playoffs—and cleaning up. He was averaging 24.7 points in the postseason, knocking down 34 in Game 4 of Round 2 to help Utah take a three-games-to-one lead over Golden State. At 6'9" and 266 pounds Boozer is a bruiser (20 rebounds against the Warriors on May 7), and at 25 he is a cornerstone of the Jazz's—and perhaps the NBA's—future.
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May 21, 2007

Carlos Boozer

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An NCAA champion at Duke, the second Alaskan player to make the NBA, the guy who left Cleveland wanting (the Cavs say he bolted as a free agent in 2004 after verbally agreeing to stay), Utah Jazz power forward Carlos Boozer is now in his first NBA playoffs—and cleaning up. He was averaging 24.7 points in the postseason, knocking down 34 in Game 4 of Round 2 to help Utah take a three-games-to-one lead over Golden State. At 6'9" and 266 pounds Boozer is a bruiser (20 rebounds against the Warriors on May 7), and at 25 he is a cornerstone of the Jazz's—and perhaps the NBA's—future.

On playing in a city with one major pro team

You are a lot more magnified. When you go out, everybody knows who you are. In Cleveland you could be more anonymous. I get comped at so many restaurants here though, so I'm not complaining!

On being a successor to Jazz great Karl Malone

Malone and John Stockton were pathfinders; they paved the way. I don't have to be Malone, and [Jazz point guard] Deron [Williams] doesn't have to be Stockton. Some of the media expected us to be them because we do similar things on the court, but it's not fair to put that on us. I had to stop reading the paper.

On fans' creative signs

The other night a woman held one up saying, I USED TO BE HORNY, BUT NOW I'M A BOOZER. She was a Jeff Hornacek fan [the ex-- Jazz guard]. I've [also] seen a lot of negative ones. In Cleveland the most. I try not to pay attention.

On leaving Cleveland

My conscience is clear. I didn't do anything wrong. And when I went back, a lot of people—like LeBron and my old teammates—told me how much they missed me.

On growing up in Juneau, Alaska

You can go snowboarding year round, and basketball was maybe the second most popular sport behind hockey. We didn't live in igloos or fight with polar bears, but we had to take a plane or a boat to every road game. Every other city was at least 30 minutes away.

On playing for the U.S. team this summer

I filled out the paperwork, and I'm going to try to play, but my wife is having twins, and I don't want to miss that. But playing for Coach K again, man, that's something I want.

On Duke players not always panning out in the NBA

Coach K finds players who fit into the team concept, first and foremost. He's good at finding everybody's roles, and it's always about the team. In the NBA it's all about one-on-one; can you beat your man or can't you.

On his movie watching

I'm a big movie guy. But when you're married, you have to see every movie with your wife. So when I'm out of town, I have to wait until I get back to see anything. My collection of movies is [crazy]. I have a thing called a Kaleidescape. It's like a movie iPod. You plug it into any TV in the house and go. The thing has 50,000 movies! Greatest invention ever.

On how he met his wife, CeCe

I just got to Duke for orientation, and I was in the bookstore. [CeCe] saw me at the bookstore but didn't talk to me. Then she looked me up in the school directory, [called me] and said, 'I saw you at the bookstore; I wanted to see if you wanted to go out some time.' I was like, 'Hell yeah, I'll go out with you anytime.' She took me to her house and cooked me dinner. I called my mom that night and told her I had found the one.

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