Carlos Boozer Lakers Introductory Press Conference

The Los Angeles Lakers officially introduced Carlos Boozer on Friday morning. A product of the amnesty clause, Boozer said the Chicago Bulls alerted him the night before he was amnestied. Kupchak revealed Friday that the Lakers were surprised and pleased to hear they won the silent bid for him.

As a competitor who was on the losing end of many battles against the Lakers in the playoffs, Boozer reminisces about the frustrating days of not being able to get through the Lakers. Plus, Boozer goes in depth about his relationship and perception of Kobe Bryant and what it was like to play with him in both the All-Star game and Olympics. Transcription of Boozer’s press conference is below.

Mitch Kupchak Opening Statement:

“Fortunately for us and unexpectedly for us, our bid was the highest bid and we were awarded Carlos. Not for a second did we think that he’d be available to us. Personally, I know he’s going to have a great year this year, at his age there’s no reason he can’t play three, four or five more years and I think that’s his expectations as well. The only downside to this whole thing is that we had to waive a North Carolina guy to get Carlos here, in Kendall Marshall.”

Carlos Boozer Opening Statement:
“For me, I just want to say I’m extremely excited to be here, to be a Laker. I think it’s an honor. I’ve admired the Laker organization for a very long time, competing against them and I’m just honored to be a part of the organization.”

Boozer on being amnestied:

“Amnesty clause is part of the business, like Mitch said. I fell to that, but at the same time I was able to come here so it worked out great for me and I’m excited about those championship balls up there (trophies in the window). That’s what we play for. That’s why I’m here to help us get back to that level. I’m still searching for my first one, so that’s great motivation for me.”

On how confident he is to get back to the level he was two seasons ago:

“Very confident, working my butt off and excited for this new challenge ahead of me, I have a lot to prove, so I’m very excited for that opportunity.”

First step to prove doubters wrong:

“Getting in the best shape I can be in. Coming here and establishing my leadership with the rest of the guys, getting acclimated with the team and with whatever system we’re going to be put into, doing it every day, day in and day out, putting the work in. To get where you want to be you have to put the work in and I love to work.”

On whether he sees himself as a starter:

“Absolutely.”


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On what humbled him while playing in Chicago:

“The minutes. Playing first quarter and third quarter, not having a chance to help my team at the end of the game was tough, as a competitor you want to be out there doing everything you can to help your team win. Not getting an opportunity, it was humbling. I learned a lot from that process.”

On the moment he found out the Lakers winning bid:

“I was excited. I was actually in the gym working out when I found out. Rob called me and I was ecstatic. I was jumping up and down and went back out there and put two more hours in.”

On talking to Kobe Bryant:

“I talked to him last week a few times. He’s doing great, said he feel’s healthy. He’s motivated. Come ready, come ready to lead, come ready to surprise some people.”

On his relationship with Kobe Bryant:

“I got a chance to play with Kobe in a couple All-Star games and with the Olympic team in 2008. I see his work ethic. I see his drive, I see his his vision, his focus. To be able to play with him here is going to be exciting. It’s going to be more magnified. I’m excited for it. He’s one of the best players ever to put on a jersey. His drive to win is very contagious. I remember with the Olympic team there were different moments in the Spain game and the Argentina game and different games where he just not only by his play but by some of the things he said you can tell how hungry he was, and that hunger’s contagious and I’m looking forward to being a part of that.”

On playing against the Lakers and losing consecutively in the playoffs while with Utah:

“I was frustrated to be quite frank, we wanted to beat them. We thought we had a good team in Utah. We fell short obviously, but it was frustrating because you want to get to the mountain top and you keep getting stopped by the same team. I admired them because you’ve got to respect your opponent and I’ve always respected the Lakers very much. It’s good to be on this side of it and hopefully we can have success.”

On how long he has left in his career:

“I’m 32. I feel like a spring chicken. My body feels great, I’m looking forward to getting back out there. I don’t know how long. I’m going to play maybe four, five, six more years, maybe seven, we’ll see.”

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VIDEO: One-On-One With Carlos Boozer

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