Boozer goes off on Thibs
SACRAMENTO — Tom Thibodeau often talks about the many distractions that can hit an NBA team.
One slammed into the Bulls head before the Monday morning shootaround. All 6-foot-9, 266 pounds of it.
Upset with being in his warmups and a towel on his head far too often in the fourth quarter of games, Carlos Boozer sent a very direct message to Thibodeau.
“Nah, I think I should be out there, but it’s his choice, he makes the decisions out there, so I play, I don’t coach. He coaches. So he decides that,’’ Boozer said. “But honestly, he’s been doing that a lot since I’ve been here, not putting me in the fourth quarter. Sometimes we win, more times than not we don’t, but that’s his choice.’’
Asked how tough it’s been for him, especially considering Boozer could be an amnesty candidate after this season, Boozer replied, “Super tough, it’s very frustrating, especially when I’ve got a great game going or what have you. Obviously as a competitor you want to be out there to help your team win and especially when the game is close, you can do things that can help your team win. And not being out there, all you could do is really cheer them on, but that’s [Thibodeau’s] choice.’’
Not that it’s nothing new for Boozer to be on the bench in the fourth. He was reminded that it’s been like that since he arrived in free agency for the start of the 2010-11 season. But it used to be that Joakim Noah was also on the bench in the fourth. Those times have changed.
Now it’s Boozer sitting and watching Noah and Taj Gibson finish games down low for the Bulls.
And with Boozer likely heading for free agency this offseason, that could hurt the perception the league has of him.
“Oh, I can’t worry about that,’’ Boozer said. “I don’t know what peoples’ perception is, but the reality is it’s Thib’s decision. It is frustrating when you’re having a great game and you’re not out there to help your team win at the end of games. He’s been do- ing that since I got here. That’s up to Thibs.’’
Boozer hasn’t stepped on the floor in the fourth since this road trip began, and the Bulls are 1-1. And while it sounds like there needs to be a sitdown between Thibodeau and Boozer soon on the topic, Boozer didn’t think it was that necessary.
“He knows that. He’s aware of that,’’ Boozer replied when asked if Thibodeau knew he wanted more minutes. “I feel great, body feels great. I think I’m very productive in the limited minutes that I am getting, so I can do even more if I was out there more, but as long as we’re winning that’s the main thing, but yeah, I do want to be out there in the fourth quarter, let’s make that clear.’’