This weekend, l’Equipe Magazine published a long report on the nine French NBA players. In this article, Boris Diaw is making a daily report about his East-coast road trip with the Phoenix Suns in the beginning of December. I bring you here some of the most interesting parts of it.
Boris Diaw, who is having a statistically average season, is still very much appreciated in France because of his unselfish playing style. However, since he has become an inside man for the Suns, his superb with the French NT has somehow disappeared. But that’s just my thoughts. Here is what Boris had to tell the readers of L’Equipe.
Saturday 1st December: Everything starts with my bags. With the dress code imposed by the NBA; I have to bring special shirts, polos and so on. All in all, I have four bags on this road trip. After my traditional cappuccino before the morning practice, we drive to the airport to fly to New York in the afternoon. In the evening, I call my friend Vincent Sangaré-Balse, a classical and jazz Pianist from France, to go for dinner. As i hear that Eva (Longoria) is in town, she joins us to take dinner at Ilili, a French-Libanese restaurant.
Sunday 2nd December: Dan D’Antoni asks me to play hard without looking at my playing time or stats. As the game is in the evening, I go for lunch with Vincent who takes my out for a little sight seeing tour too. We won 115-104, and I did not score, but we have a team with so many scorers that I don’t need to add points too. My role is to defend, respect the setups and set good screens.I am happy with my game because I did a good job in helping my teammates, especially in the rebound. After the game, we went for dinner to Dhebe’s with Eric Piatkowski, Sean Marks, Leandro Barbosa and Steve Nash. That sympathic pub is owned by one of Steve’s friends.
Monday 3rd December: Not a lot to tell, we fly from New York to Indianapolis. The temperature is going down to -6. In the evening, I go to the movies to watch Awake.
Tuesday 4th December: I take lunch alone in my hotel room, and take a nap for 1 hour and a half after. We win 121-117. I score 2 points and have the feeling of having done a good game. Only little problem is that Jeff Foster fall down on my ankle. So for two days, I will have to work with the ice-machine in the bed of my hotel room.
Wednesday 5th December: Landing in Toronto, Canada. The temperature is falling to -9. No practice is scheduled but we meet in a conference room to take breakfast together and watch tape. In another room, we do a walk-through. One coach has taped a zone one the floor and we imitate the Toronto Raptors setups and adjust our defense to them. During the meeting, Mike tells me that in the game against Indiana, there were 2 situations where it would have been better to take the shot than go for the pass. I tell him that I will do my best and adjust against Toronto.
We win the game 136-123. I follow the hints by the coach and tried more shots. I scored 14 points and the coaches and players cheered about that. Myself, I was not sure that I did my best game of the week, as I know that if I don’t score, somebody else will do it out of my passes.
Thursday 6th December: And it’s getting colder, -10 now in Washington. Washington is a nice city. It was a French urbanist, Pierre-Charles L’Enfant, that made the plans of the city. I took the opportunity of being in Washington to dine with my agent, Doug Neustadt. His wife bought some French cheese to please me. Brie, chèvre,… The other day, we win our fourth game in a row, 122-107 against the Wizards. The team is doing really well.
Saturday 8th December: We fly to Minneapolis. Our charter plane is a Boeing 747 with seats in leather, spacy, and especially equipped for basketball and hockey teams. Like always, I sit on the table of card players. The inner circle is composed of Raja Bell, Shawn Marion, Brian Skinner, Grant Hill and myself, plus de TV guys, Suns radio and the medical staff. We eat there some nice meals too. We arrive in Minnesota at 3 o’clock in the morning. It is freezing cold at -20. Even is Minnesota is the worst team we play this week, we lose 93-100.
When we board our plane for the last time this week, all the players are happy to return to Phoenix. At the airport, a bus is waiting for us at the tarmac and brings us back to the parking lot with our cars. I drive home in my Cadillac 4×4 Escapade. Finally. It is 3 o’clock in the morning. Our road trip is over