According to Mitch Lawrence of the NYDailyNews:
“The Bulls are looking into whether Boozer really suffered the injury to his shooting hand – as he said he did – after tripping over a bag at his home as he went to answer the door on Oct 2. … Immediately after Boozer provided an explanation, red flags went up around the NBA. After investing $80 million guaranteed in Boozer last summer, the Bulls want to make sure that he’s telling the truth, remembering that he once famously reneged on an agreement to remain with the Cavs in 2004. From what we hear, that may have factored into the Bulls’ decision to check out his story.”
This isn’t terribly surprising. And, quite honestly, I think people would have had their doubts regardless of whether Boozer reneged on that under-the-table handshake deal with the Cavaliers all those years ago. After all, Boozer is going through a divorce — and has been since March of 2009 — which is always stressful. And the way his injury happened just sounds fishy. After hearing the basic details of the injury and having absolutely no background or context whatsoever, a friend and occupational therapist told me: “I deal with that sort of thing all the time. It’s a punching injury. He punched something and broke his hand.”
So sure, there’s reasonable doubt and an $75 million contract involved. Of course the Bulls are going to investigate the situation. That’s just due diligence. I mean, imagine you had just bought a $1,000 plasma television. Then imagine you came home and found it was broken, and your children told you it had fallen over all on its own. You’d look into it, right? You’d ask questions. Nobody wants to throw away money. Everybody wants the truth.
Which is why I’m not ready to label this investigation a big deal just yet. I’m also not ready to label Boozer a big, fat, dirty liar. With all the freak accidents I’ve suffered, I’m willing to dole out a little benefit of the doubt. For example, back when I was in college, my girlfriend accidentally knocked over a 50-pound stereo speaker. I happened to be laying on the floor beneath it at the time. It obliterated my nose. Just obliterated it.
Now, it just so happened that it was a big party weekend at my school. I had a heck of a time convincing the nurses and doctors at the emergency room that I hadn’t been drinking. Ditto for my friends, family and professors (because I had to have surgery, and therefore missed some classes). Nobody could believe it wasn’t a party mishap…that it was just an accident.
I’d like to believe that Boozer’s incident was just that: a freak accident. Do I have my doubts? Am I concerned? Well, I’m a human being, so there you go. The Bulls are concerned too — as they should be — and they’re investigating. If it comes out that Boozer was fibbing — just like when Monta Ellis was discovered to have injured himself in a low-speed moped accident after telling his team he’d hurt himself working out — then we can judge him.
Until then, it should be “innocent until proven guilty.” I’d rather spend time thinking about basketball. Speaking of which, did you hear that Ronnie Brewer returned to practice and hopes to play in Tuesday night’s home game against the Toronto Raptors…?