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Scottie Pippen calls out Carlos Boozer for lack of toughness

Apr 25, 2011, 12:23 PM EDT

Chicago Bulls v Indiana Pacers - Game Four Getty Images

On the surface, the Chicago Bulls are about to get out of the first round when they win Tuesday against Indiana. And they will point to their star Derrick Rose averaging 28.3 points per game despite all the defensive attention.

But the eight-seed Pacers have exposed some questions about the Bulls. Specifically, just how tough are the Bulls. Because the Pacers are being physical with Derrick Rose and who is stepping up to be a physical enforcer for the Bulls?

Chicago legend Scottie Pippen called out Carlos Boozer in the Chicago Sun Times for not being that man.

‘‘They’ve all got two legs and two arms,’’ the six-time NBA champion said. ‘‘You’ve got Carlos Boozer out there who’s spending fouls and a lot of his fouls are not needed at the time that he’s giving them. Those could be hard fouls. Those could be fouls that you knock a [Darren] Collison to the floor, you knock a [Jeff] Foster to the floor.

‘‘Utilize your fouls and make them more valuable for you and your team.’’

It’s all about timing. There are times that a message foul can work. And the Pacers have nothing to lose doing that. Pippen is right that some of Boozers fouls could be better timed. For sure. But retaliation is not the answer. Not in the playoffs. Pick your spots and this isn’t it.

But the Bulls have to know that things are only going to get more physical going forward — Boston or Miami will just beat on them — and they have got to be ready to answer.

  1. fouldwimmerlaik - Apr 25, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    Desperation or “message” fouls are what inferior teams use to try to intimidate a superior team. Having said that, a good hard foul every now and then can keep a superior team superior. Despite how bad the Bulls have looked, stupid hard fouls are not the answer. Things are going to get tougher for the Bulls, not easier. They do need to respond with toughness. Personally, I don’t think they have that this year.

    • liltmac2003 - Apr 25, 2011 at 2:30 PM

      I agree.

      But for anyone who’s watching the series, most of Boozer’s fouls don’t come when someone is about to shoot/go in for shot ‘n he fouls the shooter. It seems like most of the time, Boozer is getting an off the ball foul or an offensive foul.

      He might get tangled up with a player inside and get frustrated. Plus when he goes up for a layup, he’ll move the defenders hands out of the way and get the foul.

  2. florida727 - Apr 25, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    The words “lack of toughness” appear nowhere in Pippen’s quote. He questions the type of fouls Boozer is committing and when he takes them. Scottie’s quotes have absolutely NOTHING to do with Boozer’s toughness. Frankly, between Boozer, Thomas, and Noah, I think they have all the toughness they need. None of them are soft.

    Ironic though… the guy who quit on his team and refused to go into a game when told to (a PLAYOFF game no less), is now the centerpiece on an article about “toughness”. How’s that for twisted logic?

    • dexterismyhero - Apr 25, 2011 at 1:54 PM

      I have not seen ay toughness from either one of these guys. It’s like all they want to do is scream after they make a shot. How about d-ing up and screaming after you block a shot or get a rebound.

    • pdbro - Apr 25, 2011 at 1:58 PM

      While the subject line is misleading when coupled with the body of the article, the message is not wrong. Boozer does lack toughness. He disappears against larger players and can’t play defense. No news flash there.

      Funny that you label this situation as ironic (even though Pippen didn’t outright call Boozer weak) by mentioning ONE moment of a long career, even though that has nothing to do with toughness, rather one of obstinance and stupidity. Let me answer your question with a question: how’s that for twisted logic?

    • LPad - Apr 25, 2011 at 2:38 PM

      he didn’t go in because he was selfish, not because he was “soft”.

    • beagle11 - Apr 25, 2011 at 6:10 PM

      Agree with LPad, selfish? You betcha. Soft? No chance in hell. Pippen was a bull dog on D and who can forget him limping up and down the court with a bad back while still taking charges vs. Utah for their last ring.

  3. marylandclubhouse - Apr 25, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    All I know is that in game one when Luol Deng got that technical late in the 4th quarter it got the crowd back into the game which got the Bulls defense going which led them going on a nice run to win the game….seeing Deng during the free throws pumping his arms to get the crowd loud was epic

  4. Fred - Apr 25, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    I don’t want to get it “twisted,” but I still remember the playoffs in 1992, during which Xavier McDaniel was about 2 possessions away from selling Pippen for a pack of Marlboro’s before Jordan final stepped in to defend Pippen in game 7.

    • philtration - Apr 25, 2011 at 2:37 PM

      Yeah… Xavier McDaniel was a much better player than Pippen I guess.
      If his name was not “Xavier” no one would even remember him.

    • jac1950 - Apr 25, 2011 at 2:53 PM

      Yeah, I remember that great slo-mo shot of Jordan chin to chin with McDaniel, saying “F*** you, X!” The series was pretty much over after that.

  5. LPad - Apr 25, 2011 at 2:36 PM

    Sounds like Pippen is telling Boozer to play smarter and stop committing bad fouls. Nowhere in the comment did he say Boozer wasn’t tough enough. You can be tough and dumb, Pippen just wants him to be tough and smart.

  6. Fred - Apr 25, 2011 at 2:45 PM

    Yes, and basketball ability was exactly what I was referring to. Maybe you should ask for Season 1 of Oz as a birthday gift.

  7. hellohollie - Apr 25, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    I think Pip will be a great coach in this league one day and I’ll back him 100 percent; however, he’s off-the-mark on Boozer. The refs are calling ticky-tack fouls on Boozer now so that if Boozer ever resorted to dirty play, he’d be ejected with a flagrant 2 call. We can’t afford to lose him or any Bull, starter or bench mob, for that matter. It’s up to the refs to set the tone from the first incident of foul play and send a message that this hatchet-style head-hunting will not be tolerated in the NBA.

  8. hnirobert3 - Apr 25, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Here I am getting ready to applaud Pip’s for his comment given the title of this post, and the title is completely misleading. As other readers have pointed out, Pippen isn’t calling Boozer soft, he’s just saying that he could use fouls at better, more opportune times.

  9. kinggw - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    Im so tired of former players commenting on everything that happens. If Pippen wants to be involved, go to the front office or go coach somewhere. Otherwise, STFU. Do you think players are saying that Scottie Pippen said Im not fouling correctly, I should try harder? Pippen’s commentary isnt helpful and will only end up hurting the Bulls because it adds to the pressure and scrutiny they are already facing. They may have the best record during the regular season but its apparent they arent the big bad team they were before the playoffs started. Not saying they cant win going forward, but perhaps its time to temper expectations just a bit.

  10. lucky5934 - Apr 25, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    The NBA is different these days than it was 20 years ago when the Detroit Pistons were roughing teams up. You can be aggressive in key moments and set the tone for a game. I believe that is what Pippen was referring to. When or lose against those Piston’s teams, you knew it was going to be physical. Same with some of those Knick Teams in the 90′s.

  11. goforthanddie - Apr 25, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    Pippen isn’t allowed to question anyone’s toughness.

  12. footballcoach17 - Apr 25, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    He is right. This is Pippin’s way of saying that he would have been nothing without a Rodman or Jordan. So true…so true!

  13. chicago240 - Apr 25, 2011 at 10:12 PM

    I don’t know how you want to define “tough” but I wouldn’t mind seeing Boozer man-up every once in a while that a shot he missed wasn’t due to the uncalled foul he’s always griping about. If he spent half the amount of time getting back on defense, following his shot, or fighting for the loose ball as he does looking at the ref crying for a foul, he might be putting up better numbers. And by the way, it seems to me the GREAT majority of his gripes are silly. Like Stacy King says, “This is a man’s game, no boys allowed”.

  14. avermaver - Apr 26, 2011 at 12:22 AM

    so Pippen’s a Bulls fan now? I remember him being in an awful big hurry to get out of town the last time he wore one of their uniforms

    • blueintown - Apr 26, 2011 at 9:07 AM

      You should probably consider removing your head from your nether regions. He spent the final season of his career with the Bulls, retired as a member of the Bulls, and has been a constant presence at the Berto and United centers since he retired, including a paid position as team ambassador over the last year, along with occasional forays into local Bulls television and radio broadcasts.

      • avermaver - Apr 29, 2011 at 10:53 PM

        I only wish my head could reach my nether regions

    • rapmusicmademedoit - Apr 27, 2011 at 6:07 PM

      ummmmmmmmmm, the owner was the one who thought he didn’t need Phil,MJ, Scottie.

      • avermaver - Apr 29, 2011 at 10:54 PM

        um, it was the general manager, and it was really all about Jackson, Pippen did want out of Chicago, Jordan wouldn’t play without those two

  15. rapmusicmademedoit - Apr 27, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    the Booze is soft…… like charmin toilet paper

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