The 32-year-old sat out Chicago's 102-87 loss to the Golden State Warriors Thursday with an injury so bizarre, it seems like it should have come straight from the diamond.
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has the details:
Thibodeau said Boozer tweaked his calf jumping in locker room after warmups and just before tipoff.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 7, 2014
On second thought, maybe that isn't quite strange enough for the baseball world. It's not like a protective cup had attacked him (sorry, Ken Griffey, Jr.), he took a nasty spill (wink) during a car wash (come on, Jeff Kent) or he encountered some frozen hamburger patties that were painfully stuck together (not sure how you did it, but you did it, Jeremy Affeldt).
Injuries aren't usually something at which you can laugh. When pregame hype goes wrong, though, it's hard to escape the locker room unscathed.
Then again, maybe the Bulls were OK with his absence. While the team came up short in the contest, Boozer's replacement, Taj Gibson, was one of the night's few bright spots:
Taj Gibson 26 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, early fourth quarter— InsideHoops.com (@InsideHoops) February 7, 2014
Gibson would go on to add another rebound to his stat sheet, along with two steals and two blocks. It was just his sixth start of the season, so naturally he saw more than 45 minutes of floor time.
Because, well, he does play for Tom Thibodeau, after all.
At least this kept Thibodeau clear of those awkward, fourth-quarter staredowns while his $15.3 million big man, via ShamSports.com, watches crunch time from the sideline. That's a trend Boozer is hoping will come to an end as soon as possible.
"I think I should be out there, but it's (Thibodeau's) choice," Boozer said recently, via Johnson. "I play. I don't coach. But honestly, he's been doing that a lot since I've been here, not putting me in in the fourth quarter. Sometimes we win, more times than not we don't."
Or sometimes Boozer overexerts himself before the game and takes himself out of the lineup.
Maybe this actually fuels Boozer's case to become one of the Windy City's closers. Clearly, starting a game in front of thousands of screaming fans seems to be getting to his head—or his calf, rather.