Carlos Boozer has frustrated fans in three cities. Cleveland for how he left. Utah and Chicago for how he played — good but never quite as good as expected.
Boozer is used to the criticism (the man played at Duke, not where you go if you want basketball fans everywhere to love you). He’s heard Bulls fans complain about his production and numbers. But he also knows that the criticism quiets when the team wins, and that is his focus.
“People look at it from the wrong perspective,’’ Boozer said. “This isn’t Utah, and this isn’t just a team with me and [former Jazz point guard] Deron Williams on it. We’re playing with five scorers here, so your touches aren’t going to be the same, your looks aren’t going to be the same. It’s a different system.
“All the people should worry about is if we win. Criticize me if we lose, but if we win, just praise us.’’
This year that might open up the door to criticism. Without Derrick Rose for much of the season, the Bulls likely are a playoff team (they still defend and play hard for Tom Thibodeau) but they are not a threat. They are not the team with the best record in the East the two previous seasons. They are vulnerable. They are not contenders.
With Rose back Chicago could become the seven seed nobody wants to face. Could. But this is going to be a tougher year in Chicago, and Boozer knows the criticism is coming. Loudly. He’s just kind of used to it.
And he knows he’ll hear it until he is wearing a ring.