Boris Diaw entered the NBA as a tall point guard with tantalizing athleticism. He left the league as a hefty center.
Between, he went through a winding journey of ups and downs.
Diaw flourished when in strong environments that valued teamwork. Asked to carry more of the load, even though he had the talent to do so, Diaw bristled. So it went with the Hawks, Suns, Hornets, Spurs and Jazz.
He won Most Improved Player with Phoenix in 2006 and a title with San Antonio in 2014. Diaw was even in the running for Finals MVP.
Diaw’s basketball intelligence and versatility combined to create plenty of fun moments. He created mismatches and knew how to exploit them as a passer and scorer. At least when he was motivated. In bad situations, Diaw tended to make matters worse, clashing with coaches and getting out of shape.
He’s a great example of the importance of fit, especially because he often seemed determined to make the most of good fits and the least of bad fits.