EL SEGUNDO(CBSLA.com) — At the Los Angeles Lakers headquarters in El Segundo, the organization formally introduced its new power forward, Carlos Boozer.

Boozer told the media Thursday that he is grateful for the opportunity to play with Kobe Bryant and a franchise with a winning tradition.

“I got a chance to play with Kobe in a couple All-Star games and with him in the Olympics in 2008,” Boozer said. “I see his work ethic, I see his drive, I see his vision, his focus. To play with him here is going to be exciting. He’s one of the best players ever to put on a jersey. His drive to win is very contagious. His hunger is contagious, and I look forward to being a part of it.”

The Lakers claimed the former All-Star after he had been waived June 17 via the amnesty provision by the Chicago Bulls.

“Fortunately for us and unexpectedly for us, our bid was the highest,” Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak said. “Not for a second did we think he’d be available to us. Personally, I know he’s going to have a great year this year, and at his age, there’s no reason he can’t play three, four or five more years. I think that’s his expectation as well.”

Before winning the auction for Boozer, the Bulls were open to a sign-and-trade deal with Pau Gasol, but instead the Lakers did nothing and Gasol signed with Chicago for a three-year deal.

Boozer averaged 13.6 points and 8.3 rebounds for the Bulls last season.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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