Boris Diaw's unlikely arc of triumph

"He's very motivated," Parker said. "I've known him since I was like 14 years old. It's just kind of crazy to play with your best friend at this stage. To be able to win with the national team and then hopefully with the Spurs, it's like a dream."

Said an admiring Griffin from afar: "They embrace the fact that he marches to his own beat, and they don't try to pound him into a predetermined role. Pop recognizes and respects Boris' talent, and as a result, Boris respects Pop and plays for him."

Added Stotts: "He's unselfish to a fault. I'm sure everyone will tell you that he turns down layups to make a pass, but I think with time he's grown to understand how important it is for him to be an offensive threat.

"In our [second-round] series, Game 1 was as aggressive as I've ever seen him as an offensive player. Posting up, driving to the basket, shooting 3s ... when he's effective doing all that, it sets up everybody else.

"He's 32 years old now, and he's very, very smart. He's gonna figure out what helps a team win. He really does know what a team needs. He's done it for the French national team and for the Suns, and now he's doing it for San Antonio. He's a winning player."

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