Boris Diaw: “The overall level of basketball in Europe and USA is quite similar”

2022-09-17T20:02:55+00:00 2022-09-18T11:47:16+00:00.

Antonis Stroggylakis

17/Sep/22 20:02

Basketball is vastly different compared to how it was when Boris Diaw was playing in the NBA and with the French national team.

By Eurohoops team/

Boris Diaw explained why he believes that basketball has evolved to a point where there are minor differences between national teams and no specific identity in their style, in comparison with some decades ago.

Here’s what Diaw, a former NBA champion, multimedalist with France and current general manager of the national team, said in an interview with Mozzart Sport:

“It [basketball] has changed a lot. First of all, how the teams play. Now, it’s all taken to a higher level. Teams do a lot of similar things compared to others. That’s why the overall level of basketball in Europe and the USA is quite similar. Even when we look at the teams in our continent, the quality is quite uniform. If we take the film back to a period of 20 years ago, you knew that Serbia would play one way, Italy another way, Spain a third way, Poland a fourth. Now, everyone more or less does the same thing. On offense, everyone focuses on the Spanish pick n’ roll or does some things that have become characteristic of the EuroLeague. I feel that now it’s more difficult to predict some things, to distinguish what is that which separates one team from another. Preparations for games are much more difficult because teams are now thinking of taking what is currently the best of the game at the moment and doing it. If the pick n’ roll is the hottest thing right now, everyone’s going to play it. If it’s a shot for three, then that. That’s why teams are more and more even.”

Diaw’s France will play in the 2022 EuroBasket Final vs. Spain Sunday (19/9) after routing Poland in the semifinal. Les Bleus have secured a medal, unlike other powerhouses such as 2017 champion Slovenia, Serbia and Greece.

“Basketball is still a team sport, it is played five on five, and everything can never depend on one player,” Diaw said. “In addition, now more than ever you need to have a deep bench, 10-12 players in the rotation to be able to think about a good result. Jokic Luka and Giannis are great players, incredible, but they all have to be involved in the action and play well. That goes for every team, every contender for gold, every team on the planet that wants something more. It’s great when you have an extra class, but you also need a support system that will always be involved in both phases”.