SALT LAKE CITY — Painted throughout much of his six-year career with the Jazz as someone who wished he was playing somewhere other than Utah, two-time NBA All-Star power forward Carlos Boozer defended the state and its many Mormon residents during a 14-plus minute interview Tuesday with a Miami sports-talk radio station.
When WQAM 560-AM host Sid Rosenberg said Utah is "gorgeous" but "a horrible place to live, horrible," Boozer — who makes his offseason home in the Miami area — refuted the notion.
"Nah, it's not that bad," he said. "You know, I'm raising my kids out there. It's pretty nice.
"We have a good time out there with our basketball team, successful of course. That's the frontcourt of it, the most important thing of it. And it's a great place to raise your kids. And it is beautiful."
Rosenberg followed up by asking, "But those Mormon people are crazy, aren't they? I mean, the Morm ... ?"
The response from Boozer, who went on the show to promote his sickle-cell anemia charity-supporting basketball camps: "Nah, they're not bad at all. They're not bad at all. Yeah. Not bad at all."
Boozer, a father of three and an unrestricted free agent as of July 1, was in agreement with Rosenberg on at least one point.
When the host said, "Quite frankly, Carlos, the Jazz roster is not a championship roster, outside a couple guys," the Jazz's scoring- and rebounding-leader mostly concurred.
"I think we have potential to be good. ... I agree with you there," he said. "I think we have to get some more pieces, you know, if we're about to go back at it.
"I'll tell you what, though," Boozer added. "Coach (Jerry) Sloan is a stud. You know, my point guard (Deron Williams) might be the best point guard in basketball. And we have some other studs around us. But what happens in the (June 24 NBA) Draft and July will show a lot."
Rosenberg opened his interview by asking Boozer if he wants to play for the Miami Heat, a team to which he has long been linked.
"You never know what's going to happen in July," he said.
"I look forward to just seeing what happens out there and seeing where everybody goes and seeing what happens with me — you know, if I stay in Utah, which is an option of course, or if something happens where I end up going somewhere else.
"So ... I don't have anything to say about me not coming to the Heat or coming to the Heat," Boozer added. "I'm interested to see what happens in July."