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Boozer won’t let boos in Utah get to him

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



SALT LAKE CITY — For a player who was so successful on the court, Carlos Boozer was a strangely controversial figure during his six seasons with the Utah Jazz.

Despite his production and the team’s success, more than a few people believe Boozer — who missed 138 games in six years — spent more time on the sidelines than his injuries required.

That’s why many people expect the 6-9 power forward to receive more boos than cheers when he plays his first game at Energy­Solutions Arena tonight after signing as a free agent with the Bulls over the summer.

Of course, it may be difficult to distinguish between the boos and people simply playing off Boozer’s name.

‘‘It’s all ‘Booz’ to me,” he said Tuesday after practice. ‘‘It’ll be a fun night. I’m looking forward to it. . . . I’ll probably hear some cheers and probably hear some boos. Most arenas we go in we hear some boos, so I’m not worried about it. I’m looking forward to it.’’

Boozer is one of three members of the ‘‘Chicago Jazz’’ making their first appearance in Utah after signing with the Bulls. Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer, though, figure to be cheered.

‘‘Going in, we already wanted to win this game a little more than all the other ones anyway,’’ Brewer said. ‘‘Especially now, since the way we’ve been playing the last two games. There’s a greater focus of what we have to do, and the task at hand is to win the game.’’

Boozer, who said practicing Tuesday at the Jazz facility was weird, was asked if there was anything he wanted to say to the Boozer haters.

‘‘Nothing, nothing,’’ he said. ‘‘You need them to keep you motivated. Little do they know, haters motivate. Guys like me take that in stride and use that as fuel.’’



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