4. Boris Diaw
During the 2013 NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs suffered a heartbreaking defeat against the star-studded Miami Heat. What followed in the 2013-14 NBA season can only be described as one of the most beautiful basketball seasons ever played by a team in the history of basketball.
In almost every single possession that the Spurs played in the regular season all the way to the NBA Finals, the ball zipped across the court beautifully from one player to another, giving everyone an opportunity to put points up on the board. Players who did not have the ball in their hands moved with purpose and the team often found a player who was in the best position to score.
Their team-centric style made it difficult even for elite defensive teams to stifle the Spurs and it culminated with them getting their revenge on the Miami Heat and hoisting their fifth championship banner up into the rafters.
One of the men responsible for the great offense that the Spurs put together during their 2014 campaign was playmaking big man Boris Diaw. His elite court vision and willingness to pass the ball made it difficult for opposing defenses to keep up with the Spurs on offense, and his accurate perimeter shooting made sure that the opposing defense couldn’t just sag off him.
Statistically, he did not have his best numbers with the Spurs. However, during the 2014 Playoffs, the 6-8 big put up 9.2 points, 3.4 assists, and grabbed almost five rebounds per game on a 50% shooting clip. He also started alongside Tim Duncan in the front court for the last three games of the NBA Finals.
The Frenchman’s contributions to the team during that championship run were beyond what can be seen in the box score, as he embodied what it was to be a great role player and a member of the San Antonio Spurs.