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Boris Diaw: From fat guy Bobcats shipped out to quality Spurs cog

May 20, 2012, 10:09 PM EDT

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs - Game Two Getty Images

Sometimes in the NBA players just need a change. Boris Diaw needs one about once a year, apparently.

In Charlotte Diaw was fat and too comfortable. Literally fat. He came back from the lockout probably 50 pounds heavier than last season and that combined with a mercurial personality and sharply declining performance was more than Paul Silas would put up with.

The question with Diaw was never talent — big man with court vision skills as a passer and midrange shooter who can run the floor and get you offense in the paint, too. It was the commitment to working on the talent, to bringing it nightly, to avoiding the buffet tables that was always the concern. Especially in Charlotte. Diaw as a Bobcat was a starting center scoring 7.4 points on 41 percent shooting and loafing around this season.

So the Bobcats just waive him in March. Dump him. He signs a deal with San Antonio… and he fits right in, giving them a post player who blends well with what they want to do on the court. Of course he does, because that’s how things go with the Spurs.

“I think adding Boris Diaw has been huge for them,” said Clipper coach Vinny Del Negro. “Everyone talks about Stephen Jackson, and that was a great pickup for them in terms of depth, but Boris gives them another facilitator out there, a guy who shoots it, can guard, a guy who can take some pressure off Tim (Duncan). At the elbow he’s a pass-first guy then they spread you out with their shooters.”

This is not the first time we have seen a Diaw renaissance. He was wasting his time in Atlanta then got to Phoenix and running the floor with Steve Nash put up 13.3 points per game of 52.6 shooting his first year. Then he faded. He got sent to Charlotte midseason and averaged more than 15 points a game for the Bobcats for 59 games. Then he faded. Badly. Got sent to San Antonio. And here we are.

Diaw is a free agent at the end of this season, but don’t expect the Spurs to overpay to keep him. He fits, but GM R.C. Buford is smart and knows the pattern.

But for right now, for this playoff run, the energized and slimmed-down Diaw is another weapon that just works for the Spurs.

  1. cowboys8819 - May 20, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    I can remember when he was a hand full to deal with in Phoenix! He just always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. But the one thing that stands out to me is that the teams he excels with both have had elite point guards. I’m just glad he finally plays for my Spurs!

  2. mungman69 - May 20, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    Boris the spider man.

  3. rickyspanish - May 20, 2012 at 10:32 PM

    Oh Mr Popovich, you are the man. Diaw is a quality player but he was stuck in hoops hell (no offense Charlotte). Warms the heart to see him do well.

  4. savvybynature - May 20, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    “In Charlotte Diaw was fat and too comfortable. Literally fat.”

    Is there another meaning for the word “fat” or did you think saying someone “was fat” wasn’t clear enough?

    • someidiotfromouthereintheprojects - May 21, 2012 at 12:06 AM

      it’s a figure of speech. and no, “figure of speech” is not the same thing as a public speaker.

      • savvybynature - May 21, 2012 at 1:58 AM

        It was my understanding that the diphthong “ph” was used to spell “fat” in the slang usage to disambiguate from a reference to one’s weight, as in “fat.”

        If there is a third usage as a “figure of speech,” please do tell.

    • truefan2011 - May 21, 2012 at 3:45 PM

      I can’t believe I just joined a conversation about the word fat. I think what the writer was referring to fat as a figure of speech. not in the “phat” form (which is reserved for women).

      but the word fat itself. athletes are sometimes called fat because they come into a season 10-15 pounds over their playing weight, which isn’t truly fat, and makes the statement a figure of speech.

      in this case, Diaw was nearly 50 pounds overweight, which can be literally fat for a person his size and weight.

  5. 00maltliquor - May 21, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Loafing around…hmmm…wonder why. On the worst team in NBA history playing C. For a guy who came into the league with ATL as a SG who should really be a SF but plays at PF which was already stretching it, okay. I remember when the Spurs picked him up and I said that was huge and to not count him out, especially for that team, and I got a bunch of thumbs down. Funny how everything I say on these boards comes to fruition and I’m always in “I told you so” mode.

  6. rickyspanish - May 21, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    00maltliquor

    I was with you till the end. Nothing worse than misplaced bravado.

    • 00maltliquor - May 21, 2012 at 1:49 AM

      Yeah, I know. As soon as I hit Post Comment I knew it wasn’t gonna be a popular choice of words. Malt liquors one helluva drink! Lol! My bad, I didn’t even like it when I re-read it post-post.

      • rickyspanish - May 21, 2012 at 4:37 AM

        I’m back on the 00maltliquor train after your reply.

  7. rosesacl - May 21, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    he ate a box of twinkies a day and ended up with a contendor because of it…. good for him…

  8. abchome - May 21, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    I can only remember his big belly in Charlotte uniform. Good job Spurs!

  9. mungman69 - May 21, 2012 at 7:26 AM

    Isn’t it funny how some players “step it up” when they go to a good team.

    • thomaskouns - May 21, 2012 at 1:03 PM

      It’s also funny how some players ‘step it up’ when their contract is about to expire.

  10. allball23 - May 21, 2012 at 9:30 AM

    Winning is a culture thing, change the player into a better culture player starts to play better

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