Although born at a military base in Aschaffenburg, West Germany, Boozer grew up in Juneau, Alaska. As a child, Boozer and his father practiced outside at his local middle school, throughout the cold Alaskan seasons. He attended Juneau-Douglas High School. Boozer was married to his wife CeCe for six years before he filed for divorce in March 2009. Boozer and CeCe have three children together: Carmani (who had a bone marrow transplant in 2007 to treat sickle-cell disease), and twins, Cameron and Cayden. He also has a younger brother, Charles, who previously played basketball for the Iowa State Cyclones. Boozer was reported as having an affair with actress Michelle Money, which Money later confirmed.
High school and college basketball
Boozer was a two-time member of the PARADE All-American high school basketball team, leading the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears to back-to-back state titles. He was recruited by many top-tier collegiate basketball programs, including St. John's and UCLA, but Boozer elected to play for coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke University, helping the team win the 2001 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship.
In 2001–02, Boozer, Jason Williams, and Mike Dunleavy, Jr. each scored at least 600 points for the season, a feat only matched at Duke by Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler, and Nolan Smith in the 2009–10 season.
Boozer declared for the 2002 NBA Draft, relinquishing his final year of NCAA eligibility. He was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round of the NBA draft. Boozer averaged 10.0 ppg and 7.5 rpg in his rookie campaign, and followed it up with 15.5 ppg and 11.4 rpg his second year while playing alongside LeBron James.
Free agency controversy
After the 2003–04 NBA season, the Cavaliers had the option of allowing him to become a restricted free agent, or keeping him under contract for one more year at a $695,000 salary. The Cavaliers claimed to have reached an understanding with Boozer and his agent on a deal for approximately $39 million over 6 years, which he would have signed if they let him out of his current deal.
Cleveland then proceeded to release him from his contract making him a restricted free agent. During this period, the Utah Jazz offered Boozer a 6-year, $70 million contract that Cleveland chose not to match due to salary cap considerations. Carlos Boozer signed with Utah on July 24, 2004.
Cavaliers owner Gordon Gund said, "In the final analysis, I decided to trust Carlos and show him the respect he asked for. He did not show that trust and respect in return." However, Boozer denied that he made any commitment to the Cavaliers: "There was no commitment. It's unfortunate how the turn of events went through the media," Boozer said shortly after signing the deal with Utah. "I'm not a guy that gives my word and takes it away. I think I've made that clear."
Utah Jazz (2004–2010
In his first season with the Jazz (2004–05), Boozer averaged 17 points and 9 rebounds. However, he suffered an injury, missing the later part of the season, which contributed to the Jazz missing the playoffs for only the second time in 22 years, and he was publicly criticized for a lack of effort by team owner Larry Miller.
As the 2005–06 NBA season began, Boozer was still recovering from injury, and then aggravated a hamstring, causing him to miss the first half of that season as well. He returned to action in late February, easing into action by coming off the bench for the Jazz. In the middle of March, he was placed back into the starting lineup. From that point, he finished the season in impressive fashion, averaging over 20 points and almost 10 rebounds per game and firmly establishing himself as the Jazz's starting power forward once again.
Boozer got off to a strong start in the 2006–07 season, winning the Western Conference Player of the Week Award and helping the Jazz to win eleven of their first twelve games. Boozer was named part of the NBA All-Star roster as a reserve, but could not participate because of a hairline fracture in his left fibula.
In an April 23, 2007 game vs. the Houston Rockets (game two of the first round of the 2007 playoffs), Boozer scored 41 points, tying the career high he had set a month earlier on March 26 (vs. the Washington Wizards). He also led the Jazz past the Rockets in game 7 of the first round in the NBA Playoffs, scoring 35 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and two clutch free throws to secure the victory in Boozer's first playoff series.
The Jazz would go on to win their 2nd round series against the upstart Golden State Warriors, 4 games to 1, and advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 1998. Even though they lost 4 games to 1 to the more experienced San Antonio Spurs, Boozer proved valuable and durable. He ended the season averaging 20.9 points per game, 11.7 rebounds, and playing in 74 of 82 games. He was even better in the playoffs, increasing his output to 23.5 points and 12.2 rebounds per night and appearing in all 17 Jazz playoff games.
In November, early in the 2007–08 season, Boozer was named Western Conference Player of the Month. By mid-December, he was among the league's top five performers in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage. Although he later slipped in all of these categories, he continued to produce solid numbers. Boozer was again chosen as a backup in the All-Star Game, finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds in just 19 minutes of play. He registered his first career triple-double against the Seattle SuperSonics on February 13, 2008, with 22 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.
In the playoffs, the Jazz faced the Houston Rockets in the first round for the 2nd year in a row. Determined to not allow him to beat them, the Rockets geared their defense more to stopping Boozer and his production was somewhat limited (16.0 pts and 11.7 rebounds per game), but the Jazz defeated the Rockets, 4–2. In the second round of the 2008 NBA playoffs the Jazz lost to the top seeded Los Angeles Lakers in 6 games.
During the 2008–09 season, Boozer's ability to stay healthy was questioned by fans and media alike, as he missed 44 games following arthroscopic left knee surgery. He missed time from late November 2008 to late February 2009. When he played, his numbers were 16.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists, in 37 games (all starts). With his possible pending free agency at the end of the season looming, it seemed likely Boozer would leave. However, when the deadline for choosing free agency or opting into the remaining year came, he surprised many by opting in for the 2009–10 season with the Jazz. The Jazz management stated publicly they were happy to have him return and play for them, and Boozer did the same.
For the 2009–10 season, Boozer seemed to avoid distraction about his lame-duck status, with no reports of an extension looming with the Jazz. He played well, averaging 19.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game, and shot 56.2% from the field, a career high. He played in 78 of 82 games and avoided injury, which boded well heading into the 2010 summer, when he would rank as one of the top 5–6 players available.
Chicago Bulls (2010–present)
Boozer joined the Chicago Bulls on July 8, 2010. The deal was brokered as a sign-and-trade with Boozer's former team, the Utah Jazz. Chicago received Boozer and a future second-round pick in exchange for sending Utah a trade exception in the neighborhood of $13–14 million. Despite missing 23 games due to injury, Boozer still managed to average 17.5 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game while also helping the Bulls get the first seed in the Eastern Conference. His production saw a decline the following year, as he averaged just 15 points and 8.5 rebounds per game (while playing in all 66 games). Boozer rebounded with a healthy, solid season for the 2012-13 campaign, averaging 16.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game while playing in 79 games.
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|