Best Sports Embarrassment - 2008
Suns forward Boris Diaw
How many times did we see Boris Diaw drive to the goal and then, inexplicably, pass the ball back out? Way back out? How many times did we see him wide open for a lay-up yet nervously not take the shot, instead choosing to pass to an incredulous teammate. (That is, the teammate couldn't believe his eyes when Boris refused an easy basket, the result being a bobbled ball and a turnover.) Diaw may be getting paid mega-bucks, on the heels of his most-improved NBA player trophy for the 2005-06 season, but he's too shy to be a major NBA player.
We're saying, how many times must he fail to impress before the Suns trade him to somebody who wants him — say, Mike D'Antoni's New York Knicks? D'Antoni, who failed to win a championship with his system, owes us that much. We're not one to lash out at the French, but Diaw's the kind of player who makes you wonder whether the whole country's made up of a bunch of sissies. Hey, it's not that he hasn't played well on occasion. The guy's had three triple-doubles. Last year, in game four of the first round of the playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs, Diaw almost achieved another one (20 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists) in 44 minutes.
Why he hasn't turned in performances like this regularly is a mystery; he's avoided serious injury. We think he lacks heart, intensity, confidence. He surprises even himself when he plays well and hasn't the swagger to carry the success into the next game. The idea that the best man to fellow basketball Frenchie Tony Parker (Mr. Eva Longoria) could play point forward regularly and allow Steve Nash major breathers is just crazy. How many turnovers can the team stand? How many missed opportunities for easy buckets? Please, Suns, put Boris out of our misery.