Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer has drawn the ire of the front-office by complaining about his diminished playing time, but the 12-year veteran is now taking a much more diplomatic approach when it comes to the team possibly getting rid of him this summer via the amnesty provision. Boozer says he’s not concerned about the rumors. Per the Chicago Tribune:
“I’ve been dealing with that all year, so the (amnesty) talk doesn’t bother me,” Boozer said. “I just block it out and try to hoop.”
Boozer is averaging 29.1 minutes, his least playing time since logging 25.3 minutes as a rookie with the 2002-03 Cavaliers. His averages of 14.2 points and 8.4 rebounds also are his lowest since that rookie season. And his 45 percent shooting is a career low.
In the past, coach Tom Thibodeau often would let whether the fourth quarter needed offense or defense to dictate the power forward with which he would close games. Taj Gibson’s offensive growth has made that choice mostly moot, with Gibson leading the Bulls in fourth-quarter minutes.
Thanks to Gibson’s foul trouble Thursday night, Boozer played more than 30 minutes for the first time since Feb. 4 in Phoenix.
“It’s not what I want but I haven’t said anything,” Boozer said. “I just keep playing my role and try to support my teammates. I’m doing
Boozer finished with 18 points and seven rebounds in 33:18 against the Rockets.
“People can say whatever they want,” Boozer said matter-of-factly, not defensively. “They have their own opinions. That’s out of my control. I’m just doing everything I can to help my team be ready for the playoffs. That’s all I can do. If you’re out there, you have an important role.”