Laid-back Diaw fuels Bobcats in own, unique way

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Boris Diaw sticks out among NBA players and it’s not just because he rides a Segway to work or often comes to the practice court holding a cup of coffee.

The Charlotte Bobcats forward was nearly traded twice in the offseason, but talks and acts as it doesn’t faze him. He’s one of the few players criticized for not shooting enough. In an era where diets are scrutinized, Diaw carries extra weight yet hasn’t missed a game in nearly four years.

He also has such versatility he can play every position. His wide skill set is part of the reason the Bobcats are surging under new coach Paul Silas _ even if his behavior is sometimes maddening to teammates.

“Because sometimes it’s too nonchalant in situations where you don’t need it,” forward Gerald Wallace said.

Added guard Stephen Jackson: “If he would just have a little more energy out there he probably would average a triple-double.”

Don’t expect the 6-foot-8 Diaw to get upset about those comments.

“Whether you act like you’re mad at him or not, he’s still going to be the same way,” Wallace said. “He’s going to smile and keep rolling, so there’s no point in being upset.”

Born to a father who was a Senegalese high jump champion and a mother who was one of France’s best basketball players, Diaw played professionally for three seasons in his native France before taking his carefree attitude to Atlanta in 2003-04.

Charlotte center Nazr Mohammed was on the Hawks then and remembers how Diaw reacted when he told him to shoot more.

“If you pass me the ball, I shoot it sometimes,” Mohammed said, mimicking Diaw’s French accent. “Sometimes I don’t want to shoot.”

That attitude didn’t change as the 28-year-old Diaw moved to Phoenix and then Charlotte.

“He’s just so talented but there are things I want him to look for, like looking for his shot when he’s open,” Silas said. “But that’s not how he really plays.”

While the Bobcats are 6-2 since Silas replaced the fired Larry Brown, Diaw hasn’t joined his teammates in taking subtle or not-so-subtle shots at Brown’s demanding style.

“Every coach has a different way to coach and a different approach to the game,” Diaw said, shrugging.

Not even setting records gives him a charge.

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