Carlos Boozer was introduced as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday, and the veteran spoke briefly on his time in Chicago as well as his frustrations in a "humbling" final season.
"Chicago was great about everything. They're a great organization, first class. They were in touch with me and Rob Pelinka, my agent, along the whole process," Boozer said. "So, as they were making the decision on where they were going with the team they let us know."
The Bulls used the amnesty provision on Boozer two weeks ago, waiving the 32-year-old and the $16.8 million he was owed in the final season of his contract he signed in 2010. In four seasons Boozer averaged 15.5 points and 9.0 rebounds for the Bulls, though his averages of 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds a year ago were his lowest marks since his rookie season in 2002-03. In that final season Boozer, who averaged 28.2 minutes per game, routinely played the first and third quarters, while sitting down the stretch in favor of sixth man, Taj Gibson.
At one point in the year Boozer spoke out about his lack of playing time in the fourth quarter, and he admitted Friday that it was a struggle for him all year.
"The minutes. Playing first quarter and third quarter, not having a chance to help my team at the end of the game to win was tough," he said. "As a competitor, you want to be out there doing everything you can to help your team win and not getting that opportunity, it was humbling. I learned a lot from that process."
Boozer had plenty of suitors, and the Lakers won his services by bidding $3.25 million. He enters a crowded frontcourt that includes Jordan Hill, Ed Davis, and No. 7 pick Julius Randle. And though the Lakers won just 27 games a year ago, Boozer's confident the Lakers can play for something toward the franchise's 17th NBA title.
"I was able to come here (to L.A.), so it worked out great for me and I'm excited about those championship balls up there. That's what we play for, that's why I'm here, to help us get back to that level and I'm still searching for my first one so that's great motivation for me. To be a Laker, I think it's an honor. I've admired the Lakers organization for a very long time, competing against them and excited to a be a part of their organization."