To Err Is Human, But Will Forgiveness Be Divine?

Brandon JohnsonCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2008

"Top 10 stupidest things I've heard a player say in my 24 years as an owner."

That would be Utah Jazz owner Larry Miller.  He was speaking to radio host David Locke after his injured player Carlos Boozer opened his mouth and essentially stuck both his feet in.

According to an article by Chris Sheridan on, Boozer reportedly put to rest the questions about whether or not he was opting out of the final year of his contract. 

"I'm opting out. No matter what, I'm going to get a raise regardless. I don't see why I wouldn't, I think it's a very good business decision for me and my family, but I'd also like to see what happens with the Jazz and stay here."

Boozer is right.  It is a good business decision.  However, the timing of the statement couldn't have been worse.  Boozer is currently sitting out of games with a strained quadricep tendon and bruised left kneecap. 

The Jazz are in the midst of fighting for positioning in the West, on their yearly Christmas road trip when they've struggled on the road recently and could really use Boozer's production on the floor.

The Jazz are also getting major contribution by Boozer's replacement, as Paul Millsap is putting up numbers in Boozer's absence.  He is developing in a way similar to Boozer and is playing much harder defense, according to the fan base.  The perception of Boozer gets steadily worse with each passing game that he sits.

The economy will also have an effect on how people will react to his comments.  Many people are in fear of losing jobs and homes across the U.S. and Boozer's comments felt strangely like those of Latrell Sprewell when he told the press "I got my family to feed" in response to a deal that would have paid between $27 million and $30 million over three years, a deal he called "insulting."

Most average fans would kill to make $9 million-$10 million a year and in a normal year think that athletes whining over making more than the ludicrous sums they already make is pathetic.  In a year where the economy slumps, that vehemence becomes even worse.

It could be understood why fans have a hard time accepting that Boozer could say something that stupid. 

Boozer, however, seems to be contrite with how things were reported.  According to Miller, Boozer came to the team and admitted that he "screwed up" with what he said. He also said that the conversation had been casual and was about his offseason options. 

He also stated that, with regards to the part about him getting his raise, "He (the Web site reporter) basically put that in my mouth.  Without saying it in so many words.  He used that word (raise).  I didn't even use that word.  I don't even talk like that."

Boozer also stated he would like to remain with Utah and that he would be open to discussion about taking less to be able to pay players like Paul Millsap, but has not been approached with any such option.  "If that's something they need, that's something I will talk to them about."  Whether that discussion ever led to a reality would be something only Boozer would know. 

And that's the problem most fans will have with Boozer.  They will only take the negative comments Boozer lets slip as the truth, and anything else will be met with skepticism.  Boozer will have to deal with that, as the way he left Cleveland was a topic of controversy and has lingered in the mind of fans for some time.

In the end, it will all be about what he does, rather than what he says.  As has been said, actions speak louder than words.  And Jazz fans will only forgive Boozer and accept him back if he can back up his mouth with his play and a contract for next season.