It's easy to forget that the Bobcats do have one of their players under contract playing overseas during the lockout.
Boris Diaw is the only one for the Bobcats, playing for JSA Bordeaux, a team he co-owns.
He's played seven games so far and, on the surface, is playing quite impressively if you take a peek at the stats: 78.3 True Shooting percentage, 60% FG, 62.5% 3P.
But it's a difficult situation for me to understand. He's taking fewer than eight field goal attempts per game despite averaging the second-most minutes per game on the team. He's absolutely talented enough to dominate this second-level French basketball league. And to a degree, he is. But instead of putting the league beneath his thumb by putting the team on his back, he's taking few shots and averaging a high percentage.
Now, the way I've been raised is that you go to a team and do your best to work to the fullest of your talents to help succeed. However, as Posterdunk, a collection of basketball bloggers and analysts based in France have told me, the situation is different from that.
Here is the thing: Diaw knows that he won't play for JSA forever and just doesnt want to be too important. He doesn't shot a lot even in the NBA. He wants others to play. Besides, he is more of a mediatic anchor than a true 2nd division scorer. The guy promoted basketball in a "0-bball area". People come to see him start more than to see him score 30+ points, or 16 w/ 25 shot attempts.
I smell what they're steppin' in. Diaw doesn't need to be placed into a huge role for one season to leave maybe even midseason, leaving Bordeaux with a huge hole. Instead, he comes in to contribute when necessary and to facilitate the development of the other players. But if this is the case and he's the local hero who starts for the crowd, why must he play 28 minutes per game? Wouldn't that hurt the players who are now finding themselves behind Diaw in the depth chart? it's not like he's Magic out there, dropping dimes at every turn (3.1 assists per game). But after watching some highlight videos from their games, it looks like Diaw just isn't a huge part of the offense. He holds down his position, but only drops buckets when necessary. He has a very utilitarian role, it seems to me.
Either way, at least Diaw's playing somewhat competitive basketball and helping out his home in France.
Check out the video highlights from JSA Bordeaux's last game and skip to about 4:30 when Boris Diaw -- yes, BORIS DIAW -- throws down a reverse jam on the fast break.