He wasn’t with the San Antonio Spurs for long but Boris Diaw will go down as one of the more beloved Spurs players of the century. With his upbeat, affable nature off the court and impressive play on it, he quickly became a fan favorite after arriving in San Antonio in 2011.
People forget Diaw coming to San Antonio wasn’t a sure thing. After being benched and bought out by the Charlotte Hornets, Diaw had his choice of destinations. And as he told Raja Bell and Logan Murdock on the Real One’s podcast there were two things that helped drive him to San Antonio.
One of the key points was his relationship with Tony Parker. The Spurs star and Diaw had grown up together in France and Parker had told Diaw a lot about how the Spurs played and what it was like inside the team, but there was another attractive part to the Spurs as well.
Boris Diaw praises the San Antonio Spurs family culture and atmosphere
As Diaw said, even though the on-the-court product was attractive and Diaw wanted to play for a contender, the culture that the San Antonio Spurs drew him in as well.
“I think that’s what they created over the years with RC Buford and Pop. They really created that family atmosphere and that culture of winning but of caring for each other…when I first saw that I was actually back in France, I was just visiting Tony. It was very impressive.”
This is something that we’ve touched on before. For the right free agent, San Antonio’s culture and the way they treat their players might be the difference-maker. Depending on the player, the opportunity to play for an organization that values and respects them might be more attractive than playing in a bigger market.
As they prepare for a pivotal summer when they’re set to have north of $52 million in cap space, the Spurs are going to have to be preparing their free-agent pitches. Emphasizing their culture and atmosphere could help them land the next key piece to a deep playoff run.
In the interview, Diaw also touched on the San Antonio Spurs’ battles with LeBron and the Miami Heat, his coffee excursions with Patty Mills and Tiago Splitter, and much more. It’s definitely worth a listen.