Finally, they're here.
Carlos Boozer's family joined him Thursday from Miami, where young son Carmani has been battling sickle cell anemia a reunion late in the waiting.
"It's great for me, because, you've got to remember, when most of the games are over, everybody goes and (hugs) their kids and their wives," Boozer said before the Jazz's late-starting game Thursday against Phoenix. "Mine have been in Miami, so I don't have anybody I can kiss."
"I definitely think it's a weight lifted off his shoulders, because it's not just been this year. It's been a year-and-a-half now ... and I can't imagine what that would be like, to be away from the kids," teammate Deron Williams said. "I know it's definitely tough on him, and something he's had to deal with, but I have a lot of respect for him because he's been able to do that."
Boozer's wife, CeCe, Carmani and the couple's infant twins arrived Thursday afternoon marking the first-ever appearance in Salt Lake City for all three of the children and their first introduction to snow.
"It's something me and my wife have been looking forward to a very long time," said Boozer, who had a sled waiting for the young boy.
"It's been a long process, and we haven't forgotten one step of it," he added with reference to Carmani, who has undergone both chemotherapy and a bone-marrow transplant. "You know, he's not out of the neck of the woods yet, but he's getting there. He's getting closer day by day."
Boozer said he hopes Carmani, who was on hand when the Jazz played at Miami last month, can attend Saturday's game vs. Orlando.
"I don't think he really knows all that's going on," he said, "but he sees me out there and he yells, 'Dad.' "
MORE MIC: Jazz players Thursday seemed awfully happy there would be no microphone or camera in their locker room, as was the case the last time Utah played a nationally televised game.
"I think it's a little bit too much access ... because then you have to worry about what you say on TV," Boozer said.
But Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, who got caught swearing in the locker room during an ESPN game at Phoenix last month, did have to wear a mic during the game.
"It makes him think about what he has to say, and he can't really be himself and that's not what you want in this atmosphere," Boozer said. "You want everybody to be able to do what they want to do, talk how they want to talk, be comfortable."
Said Sloan on Thursday: "I may have a problem with it, but I work for the league, basically, when it comes to those things ... I do whatever they want me to do, and try to do it the best I can."
Sloan joked he'd go to EnergySolutions Arena an hour-and-a-half early Thursday so he could get most of his swearing out of his system.
"I should be guarded more, probably," he said. "Anyway, that's who I am and that's who I've been for good, bad or otherwise. I'm not gonna argue with anybody about it. They can say what they think or feel about me. That's the way I've always played and always tried to coach. And if they get tired of you, they can get rid of you.
"There isn't nothing I can do about it," Sloan said. "If whatever I do is stupid, then I have to suffer the consequences. That's the way life is, and that's the way it's supposed to be."
Sloan said there were no actual consequences last month "other than the fact I embarrassed myself in a situation. I have a tendency to do that at times anyway so, it's all my fault."
NO THANKS: Williams said he was asked this season to wear a microphone during a nationally televised game, but he declined.
"I play basketball," he said. "I don't worry about microphones in games."HE SAID IT: Retired NBA star and current TNT analyst Reggie Miller, speaking recently about ex-Jazz guard Raja Bell of Phoenix, who started his NBA career in Philadelphia: "I (played against) a much-younger Raja Bell when he was with the Philadelphia 76ers on that team that went to the (NBA) Finals with Allen Iverson and Eric Snow. He wasn't as crafty as he is now. He understands the game much better now than when I played against him."
E-mail: [email protected]