An Open Letter to the Other 28 NBA Teams Regarding Boris Diaw’s Impending Free Agency

Boris looks quite suave in the white/gray/black palette, no? Let’s keep it that way. (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Dear Other 28 NBA Teams,

Thanks so much for joining me here today. How ’bout these Finals, am I right? I understand if you haven’t caught the games since it takes so much time putting together your draft board and all. Geez, hope ya don’t mess up those valuable lottery picks! It’s okay, I’m sure you all will be playing games in June and picking 30th and 60th overall in no time.

I’m sure you’ve noticed the same thing about these Finals that I’ve noticed: Boris Diaw looks really sexy out there. While I’m sure that there are considerable numbers of cafe-dwelling Parisian women out there who are driven absolutely wild by Boris’ tastefully graying hair, when I say Boris looks sexy, you know I mean he looks sexy in the “Coaches’ Porn” way of being sexy. (Please know, reader, that both links in that sentence are actually quite Suitable For Work.)

I’m sure you’ve also noticed that, as of July 1, Boris Diaw is no longer under contract with the San Antonio Spurs. As a free agent, he will be available for the rest of you to place your grubby little hands on.

I’ve gathered you here today to say this: Please don’t. Please don’t do it.

Boris’ just-about-expired contract has been an absolute steal for the Spurs — two years of magnificently reinvented Diaw for a grand total of only $9.2M. That’s less than what some of you have been willing to pay for a single year of Ben Gordon, Josh Smith, Gerald Wallace, Tyreke Evans, or documentarian-era Steve Nash. It’s okay. We all make mistakes. But: please don’t make a mistake with Boris Diaw.

Look, I know that I don’t need to talk to all of you. Some of you are smart enough and have enough self-awareness of your own identities that you won’t actually throw bushels of money at Diaw in July after drooling, chin in chest, over his postseason per-possession numbers. Here’s looking at you Utah, Orlando, Atlanta. Actually, with a Popovich disciple leading the coaching staff and emphasizing team-wide 3-point shooting, damn, Atlanta would be a pretty good place for Diaw to go in free agency. Atlanta, you are dismissed. That still leaves 27 of you, and I need you all to listen up. All it takes it just one of you to screw it up, and then we all lose.

Some of you have no doubt figured that you will be able to in fact give Boris Diaw a raise, so vast are your available financial resources. If Boris Diaw is offered a significant raise by even the most confused and bass-ackwards among you, it is not my place to harbor any blame in my heart towards Boris Diaw when he accepts that offer. It is his life, and he has earned his money. I will, however, blame you, collective front office.

Heed this warning, O Inferior 27! If you sign Boris Diaw this summer, it will not be the same. You know all the magnificent things that you see Boris Diaw doing in the Finals, all the no-look passes and the drained 3’s and the havoc-inducing versatility? Well, Boris Diaw will not be doing any of those things for your team, because your offensive systems and your understanding of skill-sets and your comprehension of human nature does not approach the understanding that the San Antonio Spurs have about all of those subjects. (They also have exhaustive knowledge of some other subjects that you don’t even know the names of.)

So if you shower Boris Diaw with money soon as the clock strikes midnight on July 1, not only will your team not get better, but you’ll be depriving the rest of us of a match made in the basketball heavens. Oh, the Spurs will be okay if Diaw leaves (you even heard of Livio Jean-Charles?), they always find a way. But for us, the viewing audience, there are very few pleasures in these extremely pleasing playoffs that exceed watching this man who was cut by the very worst team in NBA history help destroy the playoff hopes of mainstream attractions like Damian Lillard and Kevin Durant. March 21 and March 22, 2013: that’s when you had your chance, everybody. Boris Diaw was just sitting there on the waiver wire. Also: July of 2013, when Boris Diaw was once more sitting there in free agency. The Spurs signed him both times, because the Spurs are the smartest, and they saw things we didn’t see, and basically you blew your chance, Inferior 27.

Go overpay for Paul Pierce or Lance Stephenson or Trevor Ariza this summer. That’s the sort of thing you do best. But please, please, please: just let Boris Diaw quietly return to San Antonio. I bet he likes playing in June.



Miles Wray

  • Dianna Jones