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News » Miller makes extra effort to welcome Boozer back

Miller makes extra effort to welcome Boozer back

Miller makes extra effort to welcome Boozer back More than a month after Carlos Boozer returned to Utah , Jazz chief executive Greg Miller took the symbolic step of wearing the former All-Star forward's No. 5 jersey to an interview Sunday night on KSL Channel 5.

"This is just a 'Welcome back Carlos,' " Miller said. "I want to make him feel welcome. I'm glad he's here. I want to let him know that whatever happened over the summer is water under the bridge and it's all about winning going forward."

Miller's relationship with Boozer has been the subject of much speculation following a July conversation between the two. In the weeks afterward, Boozer asserted that he had been told by management he no longer was in the Jazz's future plans.

Boozer went so far as to claim that he and the team had mutually agreed to a trade and named Chicago and Miami as preferred destinations. Throughout the summer, Miller declined requests to clarify what had been said to Boozer.

Although they explored trade possibilities, the Jazz ultimately opted to bring back Boozer for a sixth season in Utah.

"Everything I've seen, the conversations -- short as they are -- that I've had with Carlos have been very favorable," Miller said. "I believe that Carlos has done whatever fence-mending needed to be done.

"I think his teammates have embraced him, I think the coaches have embraced him, and I think that his attitude's good and I think he's going to help us win ballgames this year."

Although the Jazz matched a four-year, $32 million offer sheet over the summer to keep Paul Millsap , Miller said, "I wouldn't rule it out," with respect to re-signing Boozer.

"There's no personal hard feelings against Carlos," Miller said, "and if we could come to terms economically and Carlos wanted to be here and we felt that Carlos was still in a point in his career where he could help us win, we would absolutely entertain an opportunity to bring him back."

At Monday's pregame shootaround, Boozer said he missed Miller's television appearance -- "I was watching football," he said -- and quickly changed the subject to the Jazz's game against Houston.

Miller also addressed the Jazz's $82 million payroll, pushing the franchise into luxury-tax territory for the first time, saying, "Fortunately, we're in a position where we can handle it economically." He added, "It's not something that we would seek to do going forward."


Back to basics

Having gone a disastrous 3-18 in the second game of back-to-back sets last season, the Jazz will get their first chance to make amends beginning tonight at Dallas. The Jazz gave up an average of 109.1 points in those 21 games last season.

"Just the whole road situation, period, wasn't acceptable," Deron Williams said, "and then you throw in our record on the second night of back-to-backs was really tough. It's a good thing we're a good home team."

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said his players "lost a great deal" of toughness in the second game of back-to-backs last season.

"Some of these younger guys have to learn how to be a lot more involved in what's going on so their game doesn't drop off as dramatically," Sloan said. "I think some of that has to do with experience and leadership in the locker room, how they handle those things." Jazz at Dallas

at American Airlines Center

Time ? Today, 6:30 p.m.

TV/Radio ? FSN Utah, 1320 AM, 98.7 FM

Records ? Jazz 1-2; Dallas 2-1

Last meeting ? Jazz lost 130-101 on April 8

Line ? Dallas by 4

About the Jazz ? The Jazz are just 2-13 all-time at American Airlines Center, having won only once in Deron Williams' hometown since he came to Utah. ...Dirk Nowitzki scorched the Jazz for 39 points on 16-for-20 shooting in a January victory. Nowitzki is averaging 26.3 points through three games this season.

About the Mavericks: ? After an opening-night loss to Washington, the Mavericks headed to Los Angeles and beat the Lakers and the Clippers back-to-back. ... The Jazz will be getting their first look at Dallas after the offseason additions of Shawn Marion and Drew Gooden. Marion is averaging 16.7 points and 8.0 rebounds. ... Quinton Ross is starting in place of the injured Josh Howard (ankle surgery).

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Added: November 5, 2009


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