The Chicago Bulls entered this season with a mountain of uncertainty. They’ve overhauled their bench, and they’re facing stiffer competition than ever in the Eastern Conference, not to mention the fact that D-Rose might not even step on the court till after the All-Star game. We sat down with star power forward Carlos Boozer to get answers to your burning questions.
MF: How do you expect your season to go when Derrick Rose is missing a big chunk of it?
Carlos Boozer: Well, we’re facing a huge challenge. Our star player is out for the first half of the season. He’ll be back at some point in the second half, and we’re all looking forward to that challenge. We’ve got guys on this team that are very hungry to succeed. We want to win as many games as possible, and then in the second half of the season, hopefully be completely healthy. We’ll take our chances because we believe that [when] healthy, we can compete with anybody.
MF: Who’s going to be the go-to guy now?
CB: The best thing to do as a team when you lose a guy like Derrick—because you can’t replace Derrick Rose—you can circle the wagons and do it as a team. And we’re every bit committed to do that. We have a bunch of talented guys at every position. The great thing about our team is that our defense and our rebounding will always be there. Offensively it can be any guy on any given night.
MF: Your bench was completely overhauled in the offseason. What do you expect from the new guys?
CB: We have seven new guys, and they’re doing very well, they’re working their butts off to get to know our system and get familiar to how we play. As the season goes along week-to-week, month-to-month, our chemistry will continue to grow and get better. And we’ll see how it transforms.
MF: Do you have a pregame routine?
CB: Of course. We have practice, I come home, I take a nap for about two hours, I get up, I get to the arena about three hours before the game. I get my shots up, I go lift weight just to get the body moving [and my] blood flowing. Then I go take a shower, I put my headphones on and I focus on the team I’m about to play. I try to watch the tape of the game that [my opponent] previously played so I can get used to his habits, what he likes to do, what his favorite moves are—so during the game I can take those away from him. You know, force him to his weaknesses and keep him away from his strengths. Then we go out there 20 minutes before the game and we get it on.
MF: What do you do to stay in shape during the off-season?
CB: I do a lot. I probably lift about three or four days a week during the off-season. I do a lot of free weights. I do a lot of running, a lot of biking. I live in Miami in the off-season so I have a pool, and I go to the beach a lot with my kids, so I swim a lot. I do different things to exercise. As far as weight lifting —a lot of free weights, a lot of bench press, different things for my core, different things for my legs. I try to mix it up a little bit. I did CrossFit for a couple of months, which is very intense.
MF: We heard you rented your house out to Prince?
CB: When I lived in LA I had this monster of a home, and in LA they have this thing called the awards season, where they have the Grammys [and other awards shows]. And my [landlord] approached me and told me that there’s a person that wants to rent your home, and I’m thinking to myself, “why would I do that?” The amount of money was so intriguing, [so I rented it out]. [The tenant] was Prince, he rented my crib for about 10 months and turned everything purple. Very good tenant. It threw me off guard initially because when I went to visit the home and check on everything, everything looked different.
MF: How did you get involved with Dribble To Stop Diabetes and what does it mean to you?
CB: It means a lot to me. My grandma had diabetes and passed from it, and my aunt has it today and she fights with it, but she does a good job of taking care of herself. There’s an estimated 7 million people that remain undiagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. And then there’s an estimated 26 million Americans who have diabetes— and that number grows by the second. So for us at dribbletostopdiabetes.com, we try to raise awareness to give information to those that need it.