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Professional

Boozer getting in shape for amped-up fast break

Running for Rose

Bulls forward Carlos Boozer has slimmed down in the offseason in hopes of being able to keep with an accelerated fastbreak thanks to a returning Derrick Rose.
Bulls forward Carlos Boozer has slimmed down in the offseason in hopes of being able to keep with an accelerated fastbreak thanks to a returning Derrick Rose.

LAS VEGAS (MCT) –€” A noticeably slimmed down and fit Carlos Boozer attended with 12 members of his extended family to cheer on younger brother Charles, who landed on the Bulls' summer-league team.

Boozer, who wouldn't reveal his weight, said he has been participating in "cross-fit training with a vengeance." Why?

"We got DRose back," Boozer said of Derrick Rose. "Our fast break is going to be a little faster. I want to be up the floor with him on the break and get back in defensive transition as well. And just get ready for a year that could be special for us."

Indeed, Boozer lauded management for –€” at least for now –€” keeping the core of himself, Rose, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah for another title shot.

"We believe in our group. We always have," Boozer said. "We've been hit by the injury bug heavily the last 3 years. If we have a season where we're healthy, we like our chances of winning."

The free-agent signing of Mike Dunleavy, who teamed with Boozer to help lead Duke to the 2001 NCAA title, could augment those chances.

"Great pickup for us," Boozer said. "Great player. Great basketball IQ. Great pick-and-roll player. Great shooter. Great playmaker. He's going to add a lot to our bench."

As for younger brother Charles, who didn't play in the summer opener, Boozer couldn't contain his pride as he sat next to their parents.

"He was working out and healthy so I called [management members] Randy Brown, Gar [Forman and John Paxson] and asked them to give him a tryout," Boozer said. "And he made the summer team. I'm excited for him. He got an NBA uniform on that says Chicago. I'm proud of him. He worked his butt off for this moment."

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