Boris Diaw has been out of the NBA for a few seasons, last appearing with the Utah Jazz during the 2016-17 campaign. The 39-year-old Frenchman enjoyed a long and fruitful career, starting with a first-round selection (as a point guard prospect!) by the Atlanta Hawks in 2003 and including a championship run with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014. Diaw really came into his own as a player with the Phoenix Suns during three-plus seasons beginning in 2005 and, this week, he caught up with a former teammate to share stories from that stint, including how it ended.
Diaw joined the ‘Real Ones’ podcast with Raja Bell and Logan Murdock of The Ringer, and he revealed an amazing story of why he chose to stop shooting with the Suns, as well as the moment in which he learned he was traded, along with the Bell, to the Charlotte Hornets.
— The Ringer (@ringer) April 22, 2021
The Suns were coached at that point by Terry Porter, who didn’t like it when Diaw attempted (and missed) an open shot. Things progressed from there.
“In my mind, it’s like, If you’re going to tell me that’s a bad shot, I don’t know what’s a good shot and what’s a bad shot,” Diaw said. “So I cannot make the decision anymore because you’re taking that away from me. Because, for me, I’m a grown man supposed to be able to make the decision of what’s a good shot and what’s a bad shot. So if you’re going to tell me that, I don’t know what’s a good shot and what’s a bad shot anymore, so I’m not going to take a shot.”
Diaw then said he didn’t attempt any shots in the next game, saying he was “a little bit of an asshole” in the process. Laughingly, Bell said “it was a phenomenal thing to witness,” admiring Diaw for sticking to his guns and actually attempting to prove his point.
From there, Bell went on to describe Diaw going out of his way to create shooting opportunities, only to pass on them while almost smirking at Porter. Diaw did push back in that instance, indicating he wasn’t really doing that, but fun was had by all.
The kicker is that, later, Bell was the one that got to tell Diaw he was being traded, and that happened through a chance encounter with Diaw not carrying his phone. This is the kind of thing that happens less and less in the modern era dominated by cell phones and social media, and all of these tales make for great podcast fodder more than a decade later.