Boris Diaw says he almost signed with Boston in 2012
I remember having Boris Diaw on my fantasy team when he played for the Suns back in 2005-06. He was an athletic shooting guard/small forward who did a bit of everything; averaging 13.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists per game that season.
Then I forgot about him.
Eight years later the much larger power-forward version of Diaw put himself back on the NBA map this postseason. He scored a season-high 26 points in the Spurs' series clinching win over the Thunder in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, then played 35 minutes per game as key member of San Antonio's rotation in their championship demolition of Miami.
In a Grantland piece by Jonathan Abrams chronicling Diaw's rise and fall and rise again, the French forward (and longtime friend of Tony Parker) says he considered signing with the Celtics in the spring of 2012. After frequently benching him during a terrible season, the Bobcats bought out Diaw's contract that March.
I was thinking of going to Boston, or coming here [San Antonio], and I was wooed before Boston split up, so that was when [Kevin] Garnett and Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were still there. It was definitely weighing in the balance that Tony was here and I would come to familiar faces, and I felt the team was fitting me most. And I felt like I knew the team, I knew where it was going, because I’ve been friends with Tony all these years, and so I knew the way they were functioning inside this team.
As Mass Live's Jay King points out, in 2012 the Celtics lost to the Heat in a hard-fought Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, a game in which the Boston bench scored a grand total of just two points. Could Diaw have made a difference? Maybe, although in 2012 Diaw was a far cry from what we saw this past month; he averaged 6.2 points in 14 playoff games for the Spurs that year.