Home National Teams EuroBasket 2017 The mentality of the French national team hasn’t changed, says Boris Diaw

The mentality of the French national team hasn’t changed, says Boris Diaw

Aug 6, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; France power forward Boris Diaw (13) reacts to a call during the first half against Australia in the men's basketball group A preliminary round during the during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Carioca Arena 1. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Parker might have retired from international duty but Boris Diaw insists that the mentality of the French national team has not changed.

France will play in a loaded Group A at this month’s Eurobasket in Helsinki where they face-off against Poland, Greece, Slovenia, Iceland and co-hosts Finland.

“I play every competition with the same motivation and wanting to give my best for the national team,” Diaw told FIBA.

“The tournament itself is very important. I don’t think about the next ones or if it helps qualify or not for a World Cup or the Olympics.

“I play with the same mentality every summer, always wanting to win. The goal is the same this year as the previous ones: to win a medal.”

This summer’s France squad will be a little different compared to previous campaigns. Along with Parker, Tony Parker, Mickael Gelabale and Florent Pietrus have also departed from national team duties.

Diaw, a veteran of seven Eurobasket tournaments since 2003 admits that this year’s France team will need some time to adjust but he team will still be dangerous.

Boris Diaw has been a mainstay with the French national team since 2003. Photo: FIBA

In his last International tournament, Diaw avaerged 8.3 points and 4.2 rebounds at the Rio Olympics last summer.

“I always had to be one of the leaders of the team, so it’s not that different from the past summers,” Diaw said.

“This summer, there are less veterans and guys that were having the same role as me but we still have some guys who can fill that role, such as Nando De Colo, who has been playing with us for almost 10 years.

“Some guys know exactly how it works, and we are going to help the new guys get accustomed and integrated to the national team.”

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