Robert Laberge/Getty Images
Shock Value: 10
Gracelessness with which it was handled: 10
Total = 26
If Carlos Boozer were a better player (or the Cavs hadn’t landed Andy Varejao as a result), this would’ve registered a higher impact and thus garnered more notoriety. It might’ve even topped the list.
The following allegedly (and by “allegedly,” I mean it definitely happened) occurred following the 2003-04 season, during which LeBron James was a rookie and Carlos Boozer was an emerging second-year star:
The Cavs had Boozer locked up at an inappropriately low second-round salary (admittedly, he was a late-round steal), when Boozer came to the Cavs and asked them to release him from the contract (essentially by not picking up the team’s option on it, should you want to get technical) and resign him to a full mid-level deal.
With that, Boozer would gain the long-term security he didn’t have and the Cavs would get Boozer for a below-market rate because Cleveland only had so much money under the cap they could give him.
This he negotiated with owner Gordon Gund behind closed doors (as, and I suppose this was the Cavs' first mistake, you can’t put that kind of stuff in writing) and they shook hands and yada, yada, yada.
The Cavs terminated Boozer’s contract, he stopped taking their calls and signed with the Utah Jazz for more money then the Cavs were able to offer within two weeks.
Boozer’s agent quit, as apparently Carlos and his wife were the only ones who could live with screwing over a philanthropic blind man.
Gordon Gund wrote this letter to the Cleveland faithful to explain the debacle, and then he sold the team.