Boris Diaw on cover of NBA Live 2007

Discussion in 'Phoenix Suns' started by Louis, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. Louis

    Louis DJ Roomba

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    Diaw motion captured for video game
    Game Boy Advanced


    By Brad Faye and Jeramie McPeek, Suns.com
    Posted: July 26, 2006


    It’s been a good year for Boris Diaw. In the 11 months since being acquired by the Phoenix Suns, the versatile forward/center has earned the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award, launched his own web site, served as a color analyst for French television, appeared on billboards modeling high fashion in his homeland, and just last week was named captain of the French national team.


    His successful season in the Valley may lead to even more attention off the court this summer, however, as he is expected to appear on the cover for EA Sports’ popular video game NBA Live 2007 in France. Diaw, who would join fellow Frenchman and close friend Tony Parker as an official pitchman in France, spent a day last month in Burnaby, British Columbia, being “motion captured” for the upcoming release.


    The process – which is often used in the production of movies and even medical applications – involves an athlete suiting up in a futuristic, black bodysuit covered in electronic sensors. Those sensors identify the movements of the joints and facial expressions as the athlete demonstrates a set of skills, which are sent to a nearby computer that records all of the motion of the subject. The final result, of course, will lead to fluid, lifelike basketball action in the upcoming edition of Live. Participants of EA Sports' “mo-cap” sessions in recent years have included NBA Finals MVP Dwyane Wade and 2004 NBA MVP Kevin Garnett, stars who boast well-rounded games like Diaw’s.


    “He’s just an all-around versatile player,” said Matt Lafreniere, EA's assistant producer. “We get all of the Suns' game broadcasts up here (in Canada) because of (Steve) Nash, so I see him all the time. At his age, Boris is just so composed, especially in the post, especially in big moments, as you could tell in the playoffs. He can shoot, he can drive, he can handle the ball, which is amazing for a guy his size. He’s just an all-around excellent player.”


    The EA Sports crew captured between 20-30 different moves, the majority of which will belong solely to Diaw, who’s nickname “3D” takes on a whole new meaning.


    “It was fun and we had a good time doing it,” said Diaw, who averaged career-highs of 13.3 points, 6.9 rebounds and 6.2 assists in his first season in purple and orange. “Once I was in the suit I did regular basketball plays like lay-ups and dunks, and some one-on-one, just to capture the moves I usually do.”


    Among those moves, of course, was the familiar Diaw alley-oop pass to Shawn Marion, which the pair made popular during Phoenix's run to a second straight Pacific Division Championship. Unfortunately, the Matrix was not in attendance, but Diaw managed to provide a surprise replacement, his brother Martin.


    “His brother can get up,” Lafreniere laughed. “I'd never seen him play but his brother can throw it down, too. I was pretty impressed. It was neat to have him suit up, as well, and have them battle. They ran that play a few times, it worked out pretty well.”


    If history is any indication, fans around the world will be attempting the "Southwest High Flying" move themselves, as NBA Live is the most successful basketball video game franchise of all-time. Now entering its 13th season, Live has been featured on nearly ever video game console ever released, selling more than 100 million copies in the process.
    Numbers like that are an indicator as to just how far gaming has come since Konami released Double Dribble for the Nintendo Entertainment System back in 1986. One of the first basketball video games, it featured 5-on-5 action on a horizontally scrolling court with just four different teams (Boston, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles) at the users disposal and no actual players.


    Only 13 years old when NBA Live made its debut on the SNES and Sega Genesis in 1995, Diaw has practically grown up with the popular basketball title, which featured a photo from the Rockets-Knicks’ NBA Finals matchup on its original cover. In fact, he often played out his NBA dreams as a kid by designing his virtual counterpart through the game's "create-a-player" mode.


    “I was so good,” he laughs. “I could play every position, shoot three-pointers, dunk, everything.


    “The earliest video game I played was Mario Brothers, that was the first one. I was always playing games. I was playing sports games. They're way more realistic now, though. Before it was like a stick figure moving around (laughs).”


    With new features added each and every year, it should come as no surprise that the new edition to the Live family -- which will be available on the next generation consoles, PS3 and Xbox 360, for the first time -- will boast some major improvements over the games of yesterday, as well.


    “The big thing we’re focusing on is athletic performance this year and making our players play like real-life human beings,” Lafreniere said. “Players will intelligently look at players setting a screen on them, and tracking the ball while it’s in the air. We just want our players to look like human beings, so that’s our big push this year.”


    Several Suns players have been featured on video game covers in recent years (Jason Kidd, NBA Shootout; Stephon Marbury, NBA Ballers; Amare Stoudemire, NBA '06), but Diaw would be the first player to appear on the cover of Live, albeit overseas. The cover athlete here in the U.S. will be Rockets All-Star Tracy McGrady. Whether the rumors are true or not, however, Diaw said the experience of helping to create a video game was one he won't forget any time soon.



    “I didn’t really know how they did it in those games, so it was really nice to see,” he said. “It was impressive with all the different materials and different computers. It’s nice to be in the game like every other NBA player, but to get your moves captured is even better.”
     
  2. SunsTzu

    SunsTzu Registered User

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    :bhiich:
     
  3. SweetD

    SweetD Next Up Contributor

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    Boris is Big Time almost! WOW!

    http://www.nba.com/suns/news/diaw_easports_060726.html

    His successful season in the Valley may lead to even more attention off the court this summer, however, as he is expected to appear on the cover for EA Sports’ popular video game NBA Live 2007.... :)
     
  4. SirStefan32

    SirStefan32 Krycek, Alex Krycek

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  5. Steel Sun

    Steel Sun I hate John Paxson

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    great.this probably means his asking price is going up
     
  6. abomb

    abomb Registered User Contributor

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    According to easports.com, the cover boy for '07 is T-Back, errr, T-Mac.
     
  7. abomb

    abomb Registered User Contributor

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    Sorry, didnt RTFA, now I see it says France.
     
  8. nathan

    nathan Moderator Contributor

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    http://sports.ign.com/articles/719/719264p1.html

    Boris Diaw Interview
    Talking Nash, Suns, and NBA Live with one of the Association's biggest surprises.
    by Jon Robinson
    July 17, 2006 - I walk into EA's motion-capture studio in Vancouver, Canada, and Boris Diaw is posing for pictures. He's already showed his trademark smooth style to the cameras capturing his every dunk and fade-away for the game, but now he's being asked to do something he's not used to…yell. "Give us your angry look," the photographer says, wanting the ultra-cool and laid back star of the Suns to scream for the lens. Diaw tries, but halfway through his yell, the big man starts to laugh. This makes his brother Martin, playing the role of Johnny Drama to Boris' Vincent Chase, almost fall out of his seat as he heckles his little brother from afar.



    Diaw breaks his smile and goes Bobby Knight for the camera, letting out an uncharacteristic roar, then bursting out in a laugh after nailing the look his photographer was after for what looks like the cover shot of NBA Live 07. That's right, while T-Mac will be seen on the game's cover in the U.S., rumor has it, it will be the league's Most Improved Player (along with Tony Parker) on the cover in France.

    Diaw laughs when I tell him that a few years ago I used to play as the Hawks in Live and that he was key in helping Jason Terry lead the ATL to a championship. "More people knew me from NBA Live than from playing on the Hawks," he said with a grin. "They knew I'd be good in Phoenix because my character was already good in the game."

    [​IMG]
    After the photo shoot, I sat down with Diaw to continue talking hoops, both real and polygonal. Here's what he had to say…

    IGN Sports: You were one of the most underrated players in the NBA this season, are you one of the most underrated characters in NBA Live?

    Boris Diaw: I think so. [laughs] I learned a lot about the NBA through playing videogames like Live. When you play as a team, you can put in combinations of players you never see on TV and you never know who is going to be your favorite player. You get to know a lot of players you might not know otherwise.

    IGN Sports: What do you do next year? How do you improve upon being named Most Improved Player?

    Boris Diaw: I want to improve so much this year I win it two years in a row. That would be nice. I'm working hard because I want to be the best player possible.
    [​IMG]
    IGN Sports: Do you play a lot of videogames against other NBA players?

    Boris Diaw: We have a PlayStation 2 and an Xbox setup in our locker room. We don't play that much in the locker room because when you get home, you can just play online. We also play a lot of the older arcade machines. Tony Parker has some cool machines at his house. I've been playing games for a long time. Lakers vs. Celtics was the first basketball game I remember playing. Growing up, the Lakers were my favorite team. I wanted to be like Magic, and then all of a sudden using the videogames, I could play as him and control him. It was great.

    IGN Sports: When you play Live, do you pass the ball around, or are you trying to score 50 points a game with Boris Diaw?

    Boris Diaw: Score 50 points a game with Boris Diaw. [laughs] I try to get as many triple-doubles as I can.

    IGN Sports: I turned the Hawks into a championship team in Live, but in real life, why do you think it takes leaving the Hawks for so many players to find success?

    Boris Diaw: It's tough when you're on a team with no winning. It's tough to play, to make your way out of the losing part. I think some people, when you're playing for Atlanta then go to a better team, it's easier to express yourself and play like you know you can on the better team.

    IGN Sports: You're so versatile in all of the positions you can play. What's your favorite spot on the court? With Amare coming back next year, where do you think you'll play?



    Boris Diaw: We're just a bunch of guys running and shooting. It doesn't really matter what position we play. We're a team where position doesn't matter.

    IGN Sports: EA also makes the NBA Street series. What's the street scene like in France?

    Boris Diaw: Street ball is big in France. There are a lot of good players. We were actually talking about putting together a French team to play at Rucker Park in the summer. Get Tony Parker to try and make a team. One day.

    [​IMG]

    IGN Sports: You seemed to make such a huge jump this year in terms of your play. Is it something where you just worked harder in the offseason, or is it that now you're on the Suns and they take better advantage of your skills?

    Boris Diaw: A little bit of both. You want to be able to express yourself and play your game. The coaches gave me the opportunity and the confidence to be successful in Phoenix. The players are so unselfish. They give some good balls, you give some good balls, and everybody is shooting. Passing is contagious, and it all starts with Steve Nash. He is the leader, and what he does, we follow.

    IGN Sports: Do you think Nash will ever get a haircut?

    Boris Diaw: [laughs] I hope not. What if it helps him play better?

    IGN Sports: Now that you're winning awards with the Suns and on TV so much, do the ladies chase you through the mall like they do Nash?

    Boris Diaw: I'm not that famous. [laughs] Not yet.

    [​IMG]

    IGN Sports: What do you attribute to the Suns success this year despite all the injuries?

    Boris Diaw: Everybody is about stepping up and doing whatever it takes to replace the player who is hurt. We all just tried to work around it and play anyway and that's what we did.

    IGN Sports: Were you surprised that Dallas went up 2-0 then lost four straight to the Heat in the Finals?

    Boris Diaw: Yeah. Miami played good, but Dallas didn't use Nowitzki as much inside, and that's where he finds more success. He gets a lot of rebounds, but I guess he couldn't do that against Shaq or Mourning, so he was forced to play more outside.

    IGN Sports: You did motion-capture work today for EA. Did you like strutting around in spandex?

    Boris Diaw: It was really funny to see myself in the suit, but it will be worth it. I can't wait to see my moves transferred into the game. I did this one alley-oop that I throw for Shawn Marion, so I want to see that added to the game. That's the play I'm going to run all the time.

    IGN Sports: What's the toughest thing about NBA basketball to capture in a videogame?

    Boris Diaw: The relationships between players and all of the contact. People don't realize how much contact there is on pick and rolls and plays like that.

    IGN Sports: What's the future of NBA videogames? What will I experience in NBA Live 2017?

    Boris Diaw: You'll probably get in a suit like the motion-capture one I wore today and actually play the game in your living room. Then you'll be able to feel all the contact I was just talking about. You might be too sore to go to work in the morning. [laughs]
     
  9. SactownSunsFan

    SactownSunsFan TheSixthRing in other Circles

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    Oh man, what I would give to see Diaw wear that headgear in a regular season game at some point this season. :D
     
  10. devilalum

    devilalum Salary Cap Casualty

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    I guess this is cool but I wouldn't get too carried away. They only really had 2 choices for the cover of the French version.
     
  11. arthurracoon

    arthurracoon The Cardinal Smiles

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    and i would assume parker was on the cover last year
     
  12. SunsTzu

    SunsTzu Registered User

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    Anyone else going to buy the french version?:D
     
  13. justAndy

    justAndy Jolly Nihilist

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    Tron :D
     
  14. abomb

    abomb Registered User Contributor

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    3. Dont sleep on Ronny Turiaf. He is very popular over there.
     
  15. Gaddabout

    Gaddabout Plucky Comic Relief Contributor

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    Anybody ever see Running Man?

    [Cue cheezy synth music]

    [Pan to Robert Sarver on TV screen]

    Sarver: I'll give you $3 million over 5 years.
    Diaw (in bizzare French-Austrian accent): I live to see you eat that contract, but I hope you leave enough room for my fist because I'm going to ram it into your stomach and break your GD spine!

    [Cut to one of Sarver's henchman driving bad Hummer knock off wearing plastic armor, singing bad opera, chasing Diaw into the locker room]
     

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