Jan 17, 2016; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Boris Diaw (33) shoots the ball as Dallas Mavericks power forward Dwight Powell (7) defends during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
The San Antonio Spurs made the difficult decision to trade longtime fan-favorite Boris Diaw on Tuesday to the Utah Jazz.
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Diaw remains an effective player and was on a bargain contract, but the Spurs needed to make room within their roster to sign Pau Gasol. But he shouldn’t harbor any resentment – in many ways the Spurs saved his career.
Ever since the Frenchman entered the league as a 6-foot-8 point guard, it was obvious that Diaw was a talent. But he was always a thinking man’s player, and when his teams didn’t have a chance to compete, Diaw would often switch off.
With stopping points in Charlotte, where he was with a team that won just seven games a short stint with the Phoenix Suns, Diaw at times did not show any worth with those teams. When San Antonio came calling they knew what to do with Diaw to show his worth. In San Antonio, Diaw became the ultimate do-it-all role player, he became a whimsical figure, and he became a champion.
On top of what he did on the court for San Antonio, there were off the court events that made Diaw the player that all San Antonio fans truly loved.
We are going to take a look at a few moments Diaw had in San Antonio.
Next: The Cappuccino Story
Feb 5, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Boris Diaw (33) in action during the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. The Spurs defeat the Mavericks 116-90. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
While Diaw was with the Phoenix Suns, a story surfaced about the early years with the team at a pre-draft workout. His affinity for classy caffeinated beverages is nothing new, apparently, as a young Diaw once put his freakish athleticism on display with a stomach full of traditional Italian coffee.
The story, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein:
The capper comes from Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin, who, like Quinter, was an integral part of the Suns’ front-office team when Diaw was acquired in a sign-and-trade forJoe Johnson orchestrated by then-Suns personnel chief Bryan Colangelo.
“Boris walks into the gym one day wearing flip-flops and holding his customary cappuccino, which was a staple for him every morning,” Griffin recalled. “It was during pre-draft workouts, so he sees the Vertec (machine) and asks what it is.
“We tell him it measures your vertical leap by determining how many of the bars you can touch. He asks what’s the highest anyone has ever gone, and we tell him Amar’e (Stoudemire)cleared the entire rack.
“Boris puts down the cappuccino, takes off his flip-flops, and clears the entire rack on the first try. Then he calmly puts his flip-flops back on, picks up his cappuccino, and walks away, saying, ‘That was not difficult.'”
A photo posted by Borisdiaw (@diawboris) on Jan 8, 2016 at 9:02pm PST
He truly may be the most interesting man in basketball. He is not the most athletic of kind but he sure knows how to put his stamp on the game.
Next: Wine Tour
Apr 13, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Boris Diaw (33) argues a call with referee Scott Foster (48) during the second half of the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. The Spurs defeat the Mavericks 96-91. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The man loves his refreshments. If Diaw is not smoothly walking drinking his cappuccino, you will find him drinking wine. Diaw is a wine enthusiast as is Gregg Popovich. Bobo on his official instagram page posted a photo that has to be everyone’s favorite. I myself think it is the best portrait of Diaw in all his glory. See for yourself.
A photo posted by Borisdiaw (@diawboris) on Sep 28, 2014 at 11:18am PDT
Perfect isn’t it?
Next: World Traveler
Mar 30, 2016; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Boris Diaw (left) warms up as assistant coach Becky Hammon watches prior to the game against the New Orleans Pelicans at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Boris Diaw’s aspirations have always extended far beyond the realm of basketball. Earlier this year Diaw stated what his plans were once he stepped away from the game and his answer may surprise some. Diaw stated that he would like to travel to space when its all said and done.
One of final frontiers left unconquered by the Spurs’ travelin’ man, Diaw’s gallivanting ways may one day lead him to the far reaches of the black void.
“I will go to space at some point,” Diaw told the NBPA for a recent profile. “I won’t say in the next 10 years, but maybe in 30.”
For Diaw, basketball is a hobby — one he’s very good at, but one that does not rule both his conscious and subconscious at all times, like it seems to do with teammate Kawhi Leonard. His life is one of spontaneity, one of action and adventure and exploration.
“I live in the moment for sure,” Diaw said.
Next: 2014 Finals - BoBo Shined
Oct 28, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs power forward Boris Diaw (33 gets his championship ring from team owner Peter Holt (right) during a ceremony before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
Diaw’s star shone the brightest during the 2014 Finals.
Pitted against a three-headed juggernaut of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, the Spurs dismantled the Miami Heat in the final three games to avenge their heartbreaking loss a season before.
Several players stepped up for the Spurs and that included Diaw. He confused the Heat endlessly when he came in as a small-ball center. Popovich started Diaw in the final three games of the series. Mind you he was a plus-74 in the series.
Diaw finished the Finals with 6.2 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 5.8 assists per game.
(H/T The Score)