History of Carlos Boozer and the Utah Jazz

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Season 1: 2004-2005After turning his back on Cleveland in 2004, Carlos Boozer signed a six-year, $68 million contract on live television -- the biggest free agent signing in franchise history. After the signing Boozer was quoted as saying, "Just glad to be a part of it, and I hope you guys welcome me."

But the honeymoon didn't last long. The Jazz finished Boozer's first season in Utah with just 26 wins -- the team's worst record in 23 years. Boozer missed the last 31 games of the season with a foot injury and drew public criticism from Jazz owner Larry Miller.

Said Miller, "Carlos has been terrific some nights; some nights he acted like he didn't care that much. And I like Carlos a lot. He's here because we need a big presence at the power forward, and I just hope he will be playing the way he ought to 82 games a night [sic]."

Season 2: 2005-2006

The next season was much of the same with 49 games missed because of a hamstring injury -- and the Jazz missed the playoffs for the third straight season.

Season 3: 2006-2007

The next year, things changed. He teamed up with Deron Williams to lead the Jazz to 51 wins and a division title. Boozer was named an All-Star for the first time in his career, while averaging 20 points and 11 boards a game.

In Game 7 of the first-round playoff series against Houston Boozer had 35 points and 14 rebounds, leading the Jazz to one of their greatest playoff wins and an unforgettable run to the Western Conference Finals.

Season 4: 2007-2008

The success continued. Boozer averaged a double/double, made another All-Star team and logged the first triple/double of his career against Seattle. He helped the Jazz to 54 wins and another division title. But in the playoffs he struggled, shooting just 41 percent. The Jazz lost in the second round to the Lakers in six games. Then after missing just nine games in two seasons, he suffered another injury.

Season 5: 2008-2009

Boozer missed 37 games between November and February. While he was hurt, Boozer made perhaps his biggest blunder. After the Jazz lost in December, when asked by an ESPN reporter if he would opt out of his contract at the end of the season he said, "I'm going to get a raise regardless. I am going to opt out. I don't see why I wouldn't." Larry Miller called it one of the top ten stupidest things he's ever heard an NBA player do in 20 years.

When Boozer returned from injury, he struggled -- and so did the team. They finished eighth in the West and lost to the Lakers in the first round. Once again, Boozer drew public criticism from Jazz ownership, who voiced concerns about Carlos' defense and his ability to lead the team.

Season 6: 2009-2010

During the summer Boozer shocked everyone by deciding to opt in, instead of out like he said he would. That's when his infamous radio tour began, first in Chicago and then Miami.

In an interview with ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Boozer stated, "The Jazz told me they wanted to go in a different direction, and I respect their decision in that we mutually agreed to work out a trade that was beneficial to them as well as beneficial to me and my family."

Then when asked if the Bulls would be his No. 1 choice for a destination, he said, "Well, we'll see what happens. I'd love to be a part of the Chicago Bulls."

On Miami radio when he was asked if he believed he'd be with the Jazz when the season started, he answered simply, "No."

His comments angered fans. Boozer wanted to be traded, but the trade never happened. He had no choice but to play out the final year of his contract in a Jazz uniform. Carlos expressed his surprise, saying, "I didn't know I was going to be here throughout the course of the summer, but I'm excited to be here. I'm looking forward to playing with my team."

Boozer soon put the awkwardness of his return behind him by returning to top form on the court: He once again averaged a double/double. But with the No. 3 seed on the line, he missed the season finale with a strained oblique and the Jazz lost to the Suns -- and lost home court advantage.

The playoffs played out much like his time with the Jazz -- up and down. He played like an All-Star against Denver but was disappointing against the Lakers. Now the roller coaster ride that was Carlos Boozer's six years in Utah has come to an end.

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Jeremiah Jensen, SportsBeat


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