Boris Diaw's contract extension was finalized today in a press conference featuring Diaw, Coach D'Antoni and Suns owner Robert Sarver.
The video is available in the Suns media section.
The following is a transcript of the interview, I typed out when I watched the video. Pardon the sloppy formatting in places...its tiring to iron out all the kinks :)
Sarver (Opening statement) : If i were to make a list of the characteristics as an individual I need in a player to be part of this org, it would mimic Boris Diaw
D'Antoni : That is off the court. We know how he is on the court. We saw that last year. We really needed to tie him up. I'm very happy we could
Diaw : I've been here for 1 yr. I was welcomed on my first day by the team, coaching staff everyone. Thanks for all opportunities I was given in the season, so i could extend contract and be with the Suns. I'm very happy to be with the Suns for many more years. I think we'll have fun the next few seasons.
(inaudible question from media)
Sarver : Thanks to fans mainly. Our payroll has increased by $20 mil over the past 2 yrs. Thanks to the fans for their support. We're well set for the future.
Diaw on how confident he was of the negotiations working out with the Suns:
Pretty confident..I knew the suns wanted me to stay , and I wanted to stay as well. There was no way we couldn't have worked things out. I could've waited for a yr to see what's in the market but I like it so much here. this is a great place to be. fans are very nice.
(inaudible question from media)
Diaw : I never play for a contract. I never play for personal goals. I don't play to score lots of points so I can be an All Star. My only goal now : to win a championship,
Diaw on whether he'd spoken to his friend Tony Parker since the deal was decided on:
I called him early in the morning but I think he was sleeping. I couldn't talk to him.
Sarver on whether the talks went smoothly:
They went easier. part of it is I'm getting more adjusted to the business. A lot if it is Mike and Griffin, who have a good knowledge of what we want. I knew Boris was a "slam dunk" in terms of his fit with us. So there was no question of thinking if we wanted him long term with us.
When it came to negotiations, Boris was flexible, we were flexible, it worked out to be a good partnership.
D'Antoni : we're perfect for him. he's perfect for us.
Few guys really mean it when they say " i go out and play to win." that statement is a cliche, esp. in this business.. few mean it. i don't think he (Diaw) knows how many points he avgs. he and LB are 2 guys we signed this summer who really mean it , they just play to win
Diaw on whether he considered the option of going elsewhere: I thought "Where could i be in a position as good as the phoenix suns?" The answer was "nowhere". i don't think there's any other team i can fit in as well i am here
D'Antoni on what he thought of Diaw when he first came in :
He's from France.. we killed France! (laughs)
Diaw interjects : When did you kill France?? You didn't kill France! (laughs)
D'Antoni continues: I didn't know he could play. Griffin and Bryan saw something in him.
I had no idea he was this good. He wasn't a great shooter a great shot. I had no idea he could guard big guys. he surprised me a lot.
I wish I can take credit, but I cant. (laughs)
reporter x : do you think you got a deal?
D'Antoni : yes we got a deal. more importantly fans got a deal. They get to see him for the next 4-5 yrs.
Sarver, on the luxury tax and spending : We're in a solid state financially. Our emphasis is on spending money in the right place. I don't care about how much total money we spend. its where we spend it..we want flexibility, guys who can help us win a championship. we need players who fit in Mike's system. we're in solid shape..
We look at it year by yr and see how the team does. as long as we win and fans keep supporting us, we'll do the right things. I have no hard and fast rules. no preconceived notions on that.