Carlos Boozer and Nate Robinson welcome HOLDAT Nation to the latest episode of their Sports Illustrated podcast. In typical HOLDAT fashion, they tell an amazing story and let fans receive an inside look into the life of an athlete.
On this week's HOLDAT podcast, Carlos Boozer discusses the summer he rented his Beverly Hills mansion to Prince, who remodeled the house and painted it purple. With a little help from Nate Robinson and this week's guest, Michael Rappaport, Boozer gives the full story.
Michael Rapport: I'll be honest, the first question I want to throw back you guys. Booze, can you clarify the Prince renting. He rented your house, he painted it purple. Can you clarify this story? Because this is one of the great sort of Hollywood stories. Is this a true story, Boozer?
Carlos Boozer: This is a 100% percent true story.
Rappaport: Wait a second, the fact that Nate Rob didn't hear this. You know what's crazy, Booze, is this happened before social media was popping off. Otherwise everyone would've heard it.
Boozer: Let me break it to y'all. I get my first contract with the Jazz, they bless me with a megadeal. And at the time I was married to my ex-wife so I move to L.A. Obviously, I wanted to stunt hard so I bought this incredible crib in Bel-Air. I think it had like 18,000 square feet, it had like 10-12 bedrooms.
Rappaport: How much did this place cost?
Boozer: I bought it for $8.6 million and the summer's over so all my training in L.A. was done. I'm about to go back to Utah to play for the Jazz. My realtor got a call from a representative and said they wanted to rent my property. I'd only spent like two months in my house, I'm really not into renting out my property, I just decorated it. And they were like, well, they're willing to pay $95,000 per month. I was like, 'Oh, really? Well, yeah, they can have it.' I'm going to be in Utah for at least eight months, they can definitely have it for the year. I'll find someone to stay for $95,000 per month. I mean, I'm about to make a million on renting my property.
Clearly, I agree to the deal and fly there to meet him and it ends up being Prince. Prince walks out the car and he's a crazy basketball fan, dressed in black and purple. Great dude, we went up to the roof deck of my house. It had a basketball court up there so we're up there, we shot a couple of hoops. Long story short, I go back to Utah, he's on tour—I think the album is called 3121. I hurt my hamstring, I fly out to L.A. to get rehab. I hit him up like, 'Hey, P, I'm going to come by the crib. If you need anything let me know.' No response , no reply, no call back. I get up to the crib and I go to what I thought was my gate. I had a big, 12-foot iron gate with two gold lions on it. I get up to the gate and I see some crazy symbol. I'm like, 'Do I have the wrong address?'
So I drive back down the hill, come back up the hill. I'm like, 'No, this is my crib.' Put the code in and it works, but there's a symbol and at the time I wasn't aware that Prince had changed his name to the symbol. This had to be like in the 2005 area. I have a long driveway, I get to the front of the crib and it had these nice steps—not the Rocky steps, but there was about 25 good steps. And there's this big purple draped carpet that goes from the driveway to the top of the steps where the front door is with that same symbol. And guys, I don't even know what the symbol is, but I see all this purple so I'm already getting a little livid. I'm like, 'What's going on here?'
I get to the front door, open the door and—my ex-wife, at the time, she put all this Italian cream carpet in, all this nice vases—all that stuff was gone. It was replaced with black carpet and purple carpet and purple couches. There's a photographs of Prince and his family. He basically had painted my house purple. One of the bedrooms, he turned into a hair salon, he changed another into a massage parlor. My weight room he turned into a disco club with a DJ table, and I thought that was pretty cool actually. I wanted to keep that.
Let me fast-forward the story: I'm living. I'm like, 'Dang, my man changed my whole crib to purple and black, put his stuff everywhere. So I'm trying to get a hold of him. I'm like, 'P, this wasn't part of the contract.' I'm leaving him voice messages, he hadn't returned my call to the point where I'm like I'm about to sue Prince, which sounds crazy but I was about to sue him. I finally get a call from him. He's on tour in like Japan and he's like Booze relax. I just wanted the house to be my house. I wanted to get inspiration so when people came over they felt like it was my crib. When I move out at the end of the lease it'll look like I was never there, I promise. He wired me $500,000 just to ease my mind. And when he moved out and the lease was up, it was like he was never there. If I never went to the house when I tore my hamstring, I never would have saw what he did.
May he rest in peace, let me just tell you how much paper Prince had. He paid me over $1 million to rent my crib for the year, he took out all the furniture, all the carpet from an 18,000 square foot house and put it in storage. And then moved all his furniture in the house, put all the carpet in, furniture, he had a dope bed that was shaped like a heart, all this crazy stuff. When he moved out, he moved all that stuff out and moved my stuff back in and wired me $500,000 to ease my mind. I gave it back to him when the lease was over. That's how much money Prince had.
Rappaport: Now, let me ask you a question, the dealings that you had with him face to face, what was he like in real life?
Boozer: It was just that one time when he came to sign the lease the day I met him. He was great, he was talking to me about basketball. At the time we were talking about the Spurs and the Lakers. Obviously, they were winning championships at the time. We went upstairs and he had a nice jumpshot. He was a short guy but...
Robinson: Was he taller than me?
Boozer: No, he was definitely shorter than you Nate. He had a cool jumpshot, he put all these privacy trees up, people were flying helicopters over the property trying to find him. Needless to say, as a business move, when I sold the house a year later, I sold it for $12.4 million. So I made about $4 million on it, thanks to Prince. Shout to Prince, may he rest in peace.
Rappaport: Because of the cache of him having spent time there?
Boozer: Yeah, just because he stayed there.
Robinson: See, I never knew that Boozer. That's a story you're supposed to tell your friends. I'm mad that I didn't know that story until I heard it for the first time like I'm a listener, like I subscribe to the podcast.
Rappaport: You might not be a real friend, Nate, because even I knew that story, man. That's a classic story.
Robinson: I'm mad that Mike knew that story before me.
Boozer: But you're the one I take to the Bahamas with the kids, bro, so it's all love.
Robinson: Shout out to Boozer for that, he took the entire family to the Bahamas. That was the first time I ever flew on a private jet too, me and my whole family. We appreciate that one.
Boozer: Mike, I'm glad you brought that up.