Friday, November 13, 2009

He's Still BOO-zer to Me

(cross-posted from my new gig on

All seems to be righting itself nicely in Cavalier land after a trip through Florida that saw the Wine and Gold beat the Magic and Heat in a tough back-to-back set. We found out that Shaq can be effective in neutralizing the dominance of Dwight Howard in the paint. We found out that Delonte West still cannot be counted on to be part of the rotation, but that other guys (Jamario Moon) can step up when needed. We were reminded of how entertaining the LeBron vs. Wade matchups always seem to be. We witnessed how much better the offense looks when Mo is aggressive and hitting shots. And we saw that this JJ Hickson kid can play when Mike Brown's leash is lengthened a bit. The two solid Florida wins have the Cavs now sitting at 6-3 and a strong 4-1 away from the Q.

The team will return home to face the Utah Jazz on Saturday night. And as we ponder things here on this Friday the 13th I'm reminded of a form of evil that will be visiting along the Jazz this weekend. Of course I'm referring to the one and only Carlos Boozer, and for some reason my hate for him is like Jason Voorhees. No matter what, it just won't seem to die. Old wounds never really heal for us in Cleveland and I'd like to think that Boozer will never truly be forgiven for what he did to this franchise, short of a far-fetched scenario like him rejoining that Cavs and helping to win a title.

I know it's childish and petty to still hold such a grudge more than five years after the man took the money and ran to Utah. I know the Cavs have moved on and had great success without Boozer here. But I can't help thinking what could have been had Boozer decided to stay here. He was loved by fans for his blue collar work ethic he displayed as a second-round pick. He was pretty much the lone bright spot in the pre-LeBron season of 2002-03 when the Cavs mustered just 17 wins (yes, I'm denying that the Ricky Davis era ever happened). Then we saw a resurgence and a reason for hope again the next season when the team climbed to 35 wins and it looked like LeBron and Boozer could be the NBA's next great young star pairing. But Boozer wouldn't let that happen.

I hope those of you that will also be in attendance tomorrow night at the Q will join me in giving Boozer a warm Cleveland welcome. Don't let him forget what he did to this frachise. He stabbed a blind guy in the back. He turned his back on a city that embraced him and a chance to team up with a once-in-a-lifetime star. All for some more money and a mountain view. To that I say "BOOOOOOOOO" and I will say it loud and often, every time time he puts his money-grubbing hands on the ball tomorrow night. This is Cleveland and we hold grudges. Besides, it makes an otherwise ho-hum November game in a long 82-game season a little more fun, right?