Once upon a time I was a mewling babe in the blogging world. Sure, I had written before about the Utah Jazz, but I didn’t know anything about running a site. I had worked my way up the SB Nation ranks, but compared to the vets out there handling the other blogs I was a “know nothing rookie.” And they were right. One such veteran really helped me out though, J.R. Wilco of the San Antonio Spurs’ blog PoundingTheRock.com. J.R. spent hours and hours of his time trying to teach me things, trying to speed up my learning curve as I adjusted from ‘contributor’ to ‘manager’. Frankly, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him. And honestly, I’d be in a better situation today if I listened better, ha ha.
If you will, I was the Trey Lyles in that situation — and he was the Boris Diaw. Today both players are on the Utah Jazz. And who better to talk about Bobo than my own veteran mentor, J.R. Wilco:
“No one is smarter than Boris Diaw. You guys have some intelligent players in Utah, but Boris has BBIQ dripping from his pores. Everyone on your team will be more savvy just by wearing the same jersey as Diaw. Anyone who shares the court with him suddenly looks more intelligent as a result.
“No one is cooler than Boris Diaw. Even Manu Ginobili, a man who swatted a bat out of the air with his bare hand, said "Boris's worst day is anyone else's best day." He goes on safari. He makes movies. Hey tweets about signing his contract from a boat on Lake Austin and is immediately invited join a bachelorette party on a nearby boat.
“He has espresso flowing through his veins and yet manages to always appear completely unhurried or stressed. He is in continual communion with the mind of basketball. His post game is a monument to Naismith himself. His forays from the arc to the rim are spinning, pivoting, baroque works of art.
“You'll swear he has eyes in the back of his head, and reversible joints that allow him to release the ball from any angle and any position. You'll insist he has precognition that enables him to see where players will be open before they begin their cuts. You'll be convinced that he has a physical aversion to scoring as he passes up point-blank shots to set his teammates up.
“When your team is playing well, he takes them to a higher plane. When they're playing poorly, you'll forget he's even on the squad. He will surprise you with his ability to defend guys bigger, stronger, and faster then he is. He'll astound you as he loses interest in the middle of the season and takes several games off, playing with all the intensity of a weekday evening 40+ game at the local gym.
“In other words, please take good care of Boris for me. I miss him terribly.”
J.R. Wilco, PoundingTheRock.com, 2016
Thank you J.R. That was beautiful, and will give Jazz fans something extra to look out for from our first big off the bench. It would be beneficial for Trey Lyles to listen to him a lot better, and learn a lot faster, than I did! Both are agile bigmen who can put the ball on the floor, stretch the defense with outside shooting, and get up there for the block. One is at the beginning of his career, the other basking in their prime — or perhaps a few seasons after it.
How those two players work with one another is going to be interesting to see, on and off the court.
I’m really excited they are both on the Jazz. And while there is going to be a competition for minutes -- and even for the right to be the first big off the bench. In the long run I think their relationship is going to be really beneficial to both. Diaw will have a squire. Lyles will have a mentor to learn from.
And the Jazz are going to win a lot of games.
Thanks again J.R., we’ll do our best to take care, celebrate, enjoy, and cherish Boris Diaw for as long as he’s a Jazzman.