Living in Chicago, this is a bit off my radar, but as a native Clevelandite I just couldn't let the following story go:
Carlos Boozer and the Utah Jazz have agreed on a six-year, $68 million offer sheet, ESPN's David Aldridge reports.
Now, save the fact that the Jazz drastically overpaid here, the above phrase, in general, should not be that shocking. At least, not until you read the following statement.
Boozer, recently named to the U.S. Olympic team, could have been Cleveland's next season for $695,000, but the Cavaliers did not pick up their option after, the club said, Boozer had committed to re-signing for the team's full mid-level exception -- somewhere around six years and $40 million.
So the Cavs basically said to Boozer, "We want to keep you, and in order to do so we are going to pay you $6,000,000 more then we are contractually obligated to this year." Boozer, who supposedly is one of the "good guys" of the league, instead gives the Cavs the proverbial bird and moves to a weaker team, in a stronger division, to play either out of position at Center or behind Matt Harpring and Kirilenko.
All of this after he publicly made the following comments on July 1, 2004:
"I'm thankful for everything the Cavs have done for me," Boozer said. "A lot of teams didn't think I was worth it and let me slide into the second round. But they were the ones who gave me a chance and let me play as a rookie. That doesn't happen much in this league unless you're LeBron."
But, that wasn't it, he went ever further:
"I want to be in Cleveland," Boozer said Thursday (July 1st). "I like it here. My wife and I are very, very happy here, and I want to be with the Cavaliers. Good things are happening."
That is two very's folks. Two.
I have read about a tremendous amount of money grubbing in professional sports (J.D. Drew refusing to sign, Steve Francis forcing a draft day trade, and Scott Boras in general), but never have I had to witness a player state his loyalty, a team make a fantastically grand gesture to reward said loyalty, and then the same player royally screw the hell out of the team. It makes me sick.
Carlos Boozer is now, and will forever be, my least favorite NBA player. Not because the Cavs are my second favorite team, not because I was born in Cleveland, but because this was the most ridiculously greedy move ever made by a player. I hope that extra $28 million really makes your life better. I hope the third Mercedes for your third cousin makes the guilt go away. Asshole.
Money Talks: Boozer, Jazz agree on $68 million deal [ESPN.com]
Cavaliers Issue Statement on Boozer [NBA.com]
"can kiss my f*ckin' ass right downtown and PRINT IT"
- Lee Elia's 1983 rant