Diaw’s evolution with the French team has always been a step ahead of his progression with his club team.
It proved true again in 2005, when the young forward who had struggled with Atlanta had a memorable tournament at EuroBasket.
Diaw was selected for the EuroBasket 2005 First Team and would probably have been the MVP had France beaten Greece in the semis.
Following his trade from Atlanta to Phoenix, Diaw became more assertive and was named the Most Improved Player in the NBA in 2005-06.
In the playoffs, he took his game to another level by averaging 24.2 points on 52.2 percent shooting during the Western Conference Finals against Dallas.
In Phoenix however, his stats did suffer a bit with the return of Amare Stoudemire to the line-up.
When he moved to Charlotte at the beginning of 2009, he found in Larry Brown’s system trust and a new energy and intensity, averaging 15.1 points, nearly six rebounds and almost as many assists.
A bit frustrated when Stephen Jackson who is not the most team oriented player in the world came into town last fall to take 25 shots per game, Diaw came back strongly towards the end of the season to help Charlotte to its first-ever play-off berth.
The ultimate versatile and team player, Diaw can play every single position on the court but he occasionally has “absences” on the court and always irritates coaches, journalists and fans who all know that he could and should have more influence on the game.
Diaw is the son of one of the greatest French women players of all time, Elisabeth Riffiod, and of a Senegal high-jump champion, Issa Diaw. He has always been there for the national team, only missing the 2008 qualifying campaign (for EuroBasket 2009), because the Federation was not willing to pay a huge insurance fee.
France missed the direct qualification and had to go through the additional qualifying round last summer.
There are investments that one will always regret not to having made.
Especially since the previous summer, Boris paid himself for most of the insurance “extras” in order to play at EuroBasket 2007.
Does that tell you something about the kind of player Boris Diaw-Riffiod is?