Boris Diaw has turned his career around over the last couple seasons with the San Antonio Spurs after being bought out of his contract with the Charlotte Bobcats back in the spring of 2012. Now, fresh off an NBA Finals win, Diaw explained to Grantland’s Jonathan Abrams how he almost joined the Celtics instead of the Spurs after that buyout at the tail end of the 2011-12 season.
“I was thinking of going to Boston, or coming here (San Antonio), and I was wooed before Boston split up, so that was when (Kevin) Garnett and Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were still there,” Diaw said. “It was definitely weighing in the balance that Tony (Parker) was here and I would come to familiar faces, and I felt the team was fitting me most. And I felt like I knew the team, I knew where it was going, because I’ve been friends with Tony all these years, and so I knew the way they were functioning inside this team.
As we all know, the Celtics pushed the Miami Heat to seven games before bowing out in the Eastern Conference Finals in June 2012. It’s tough to say whether Diaw’s addition would have swung the series Boston’s way, but there’s no denying he would have made an impact.
The Celtics relied on a hobbled Mickael Pietrus, Marquis Daniels, and Sasha Pavlovic as wing players off the bench against Miami, and the trio was ineffective for the majority of that series. Meanwhile, Diaw thrived for the Spurs in their run to the Western Conference Finals in 2012, shooting 52 percent from the field and 51 percent from downtown as a starter in 14 games.
Diaw likely has no regrets after landing an NBA title this year, but chalk this one up as another disappointing ‘What If?’ for the Celtics during the Big Three era.