Carlos Boozer thinking big
"A championship," he told ESPNChicago.com on Wednesday night after a Nike House of Hoops event. "I think a realistic goal for us is a championship. I think anything shorter than that we're setting ourselves up to be shorter than what we can reach. I think [we have] potential to be a championship-level team."
One of the reasons Boozer feels so confident is due to the fact that he gets to play with the Bulls' 21-year-old All-Star point guard, Derrick Rose.
"He's tight," Boozer said. "He can play. With our combination of what we have on our team, with myself in the post, with D. Rose at the point guard spot, Joakim [Noah] plugging that middle up, Luol Deng being very versatile on the wing, I think we have a team that can rival anybody. I think we'll be able to compete against every team in the league."
When it comes to Rose's progression specifically, Boozer isn't surprised at all that his new teammate is succeeding under the tutelage of his former college coach at Duke and current Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
ESPNChicago.com Bulls blog
The latest news from Bulls reporter Nick Friedell. Blog
"I think [Rose] went out there and made that team, proved to be the starter for that team," Boozer said. "Coach K loves him, of course, and they've been able to compete and have a chance to win. I think they're a game or two away from winning the gold and hopefully they can bring it back for us."
Boozer signed with the Bulls and became a teammate of Rose's only after the organization failed to land LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The veteran forward understands that he just endured a few crazed few months that were unlike any other in NBA history.
"It was that kind of a summer," he said. "You had so many big names going different places, or possibly going different places. Obviously, Miami's crazy right now down there on the beach; obviously, we're crazy coming up here. In New York, [there's] a little bit of a buzz with Amare [Stoudemire] going up there. So for us, it was one of those situations where this summer was looked to for so long, people were anticipating this summer, now that it's here, everybody signed, everybody's on their team, now it's time to play basketball."
Boozer is looking forward to doing just that, especially with Rose and Noah, since they were two of the biggest reasons he felt comfortable playing in Chicago.
"I'm very excited to be part of the team," he said. "[I'm] looking forward to get going. Looking forward to seeing how good we can be. We have to prove ourselves. I think on paper we look terrific. I think we have to put what we have on paper on the court, get in the lab, mix it up, see how we jell together and then go out there and prove to everybody how good we are."
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.