DeSagana Diop

DeSagana N'gagne Diop (/səˈɡɑːnə ˈɒp/ sə-GAH-nə JOP; born January 30, 1982) is a Senegalese former professional basketball player who is currently a coaching associate for the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

DeSagana Diop
DeSagana Diop Cavaliers.jpg
Diop during a Cavaliers preseason game in October 2013
Utah Jazz
PositionCoaching associate
Personal information
Born (1982-01-30) January 30, 1982 (age 38)
Dakar, Senegal
Listed height7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight280 lb (127 kg)
Career information
High schoolOak Hill Academy
(Mouth of Wilson, Virginia)
NBA draft2001 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8th overall
Selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers
Playing career2001–2013
Number52, 7, 14, 2
Coaching career2014–present
Career history
As player:
20012005Cleveland Cavaliers
20052008Dallas Mavericks
2008New Jersey Nets
2008–2009Dallas Mavericks
20092013Charlotte Bobcats
As coach:
2014–2016Texas Legends (player development / assistant)
2016–presentUtah Jazz (coaching associate)
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points1,185 (2.0 ppg)
Rebounds2,219 (3.7 rpg)
Blocks630 (1.0 bpg)
Stats at

Early lifeEdit

After he began practicing basketball at the age of 15, Diop succeeded in averaging 14.6 points, 13.2 rebounds, and 8.1 blocks during his senior high school season,[1] earning the USA Today Virginia Player of the Year title and leading Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, to a #1 nation ranking (33 wins, 0 losses).

Diop speaks five languages:[2] Arabic, English, French, Wolof and some Spanish.

Professional CareerEdit

Cleveland Cavaliers (2001-2005)Edit

Diop was drafted directly out of Oak Hill Academy by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 8th overall pick of the 2001 NBA draft.[3] He was the fifth high school player, after Kwame Brown, Tyson Chandler, Eddy Curry and Ousmane Cisse to declare for the draft.[1] As a reserve center, he played 193 games in four seasons with the Cavaliers, averaging 1.6 points, 2.6 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 10.8 minutes per contest.

On November 23, 2002 Diop dropped a career high 10 points in an 84-97 loss to the New Orleans Hornets.

The Cavaliers heavily struggled in Diop's first few years with the team. The franchise eventually began to improve with the addition of an 18 year old LeBron James in the 2003 NBA draft. In the 2004-2005 season, the Cavaliers had posted their best record since the 1997-1998 season, going 42-40. However they still missed the playoffs and this was Diop's final year with the team.

Dallas Mavericks (2005-2008)Edit

Diop signed a three-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks as a free agent on August 19, 2005.[4] Diop, a defensive player who specialized in shot blocking and rebounding, shared the center position with Erick Dampier. He had joined a winning team, and the 2005-2006 season was Diop's most successful season regarding playoff success as the Mavericks went 60-22 and made a deep playoff push and reached the 2006 finals. Unfortunately for the Mavericks they ended up losing the finals in 6 games to the Miami Heat.

Against the New York Knicks in a pre-season game, Diop hit the game-winning tip-in off of a missed shot by Keith Van Horn.

On November 15, 2005 Diop recorded a career high 16 rebounds in an 83-80 win over the Denver Nuggets. In that same game, Diop also recorded a career high 6 blocks—including a denial of Carmelo Anthony's potentially game-winning field goal attempt.[5]

On January 14, 2006, he became a full-time starter for the Mavericks for the rest of the regular season and into the playoffs, assisting in the Mavericks qualifying for the 2006 NBA Finals as representatives of the Western Conference.[6]

In March 2006, two Mavericks fans produced a version of the hip-hop song "Jump" by Kris Kross. In their version, the refrain "Jump! Jump!" was turned into "Diop! Diop!", and the video praises Diop's shotblocking ability. It became so popular that the Mavs started to play the video at their home games. Diop said, "I remember the first time they played the video during a timeout and I was trying to pay attention to what coach [Johnson] was trying to say but I was sneaking looks at the video."[7]

For the 05–06 season, he ranked 11th in total blocks, 14th in blocks per game, and 4th in blocks per 48 minutes.[8][9][10] In Game 7 of the 2006 Western Conference Semifinals between San Antonio and Dallas, Diop, playing with a broken nose, grabbed three offensive rebounds (four total), and blocked two of Tim Duncan's shots in the second and fourth quarter and overtime.[11]

On April 11, 2007, Diop recorded his first double-double with season highs of 10 points and 15 rebounds in the Mavs' franchise-high 30th road victory, a 105–88 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.[12]

The Mavericks finished the 2006-2007 season even more successful than the previous season, with a franchise best 67-15 record. They were extremely dominant throughout the season, and unlike the previous season, they were expected to reach the finals again. They grabbed the 1st seed in the Western Conference, and matched up with the Golden State Warriors in the first round. The Warriors had only went 42-40 and were barely a winning team that season, they were expected to be heavily outmatched by the Mavericks. In what was considered the greatest playoff upset of all time, the Warriors managed to defeat the Mavericks in 6 games and advance to the 2nd round. Led by prime Baron Davis, the Warriors managed to stun the Mavericks and outplay them in the series. The Mavericks may have had the best record in the league, but the reason why they ended up losing was because the Warriors had matched up very well against them. One of the main reasons was Don Nelson. Nelson, who was the head coach of the Warriors and former head coach of the Mavericks, had understood how to defend the Mavericks well as he coached them the previous season. In the 2006-2007 season the Warriors actually won the season series 3-1 against them. Despite Diop's and the Mavericks' best efforts, the Warriors played very well against them and managed to knock out the best team in the league in the first round.

New Jersey Nets (2008)Edit

On February 19, 2008, Diop was traded to the New Jersey Nets, along with signed-and-traded Keith Van Horn, Devin Harris, Trenton Hassell, Maurice Ager, and roughly $3 million cash and 2008 and 2010 first round draft picks in exchange for Jason Kidd, Malik Allen, and Antoine Wright.[13]

Diop never achieved the same team success as he did in the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons as the Nets entered a stage of rebuilding and finished the 2007-2008 season with a mediocre 34-48 record and missed the playoffs.

Dallas Mavericks (2008-2009)Edit

On July 9, 2008, Diop signed a six-year, $32 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks.[14]

Diop's return to Dallas was short as he didn't finish the 2008-2009 season with the team.

Charlotte Bobcats (2009-2013)Edit

On January 16, 2009, Diop was traded to the Charlotte Bobcats for guard Matt Carroll and center Ryan Hollins.[15]

Diop spent the rest of his playing career with the Charlotte Bobcats. The Bobcats had been a struggling team for the past few years prior but they had been steadily improving and finished the 2008-2009 season 35-47 and missed the playoffs by 4 games. In the following 2009-2010 season the Bobcats, lead by all star Gerald Wallace and leader Stephen Jackson, went 44-38 and made the playoffs as the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference. They faced a difficult opponent in the Orlando Magic, and although the Bobcats played great defense and kept each game close, they eventually lost to the Magic in a 4 game sweep. Diop continued to play well for the team however the roster had drastically changed in the following seasons and unfortunately he missed the playoffs for the rest of his career. In the following season the Bobcats only went 34-48 and the team's roster had shifted as Charlotte entered another rebuild. In the 2011-2012 season the Bobcats made history by having the worst record in NBA history, ending the season with an abysmal 7-59 record. The team had acquired young players and were set to make the playoffs in the future, however Diop only played one more season with the Bobcats and they ended up missing the playoffs in the 2012-2013 season.

Cleveland Cavaliers (2013)Edit

On September 30, 2013, Diop signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers.[16] However he didn't play for the team as he was waived before the season started on October 25.[17]


Diop retired from the NBA shortly after[when?] at 31 years old.

Coaching careerEdit

On November 11, 2014, Diop joined the coaching staff of the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League as a player development coach.[18] On October 19, 2015, he was promoted to assistant coach.[19]

On October 3, 2016, Diop was hired by the Utah Jazz as a coaching associate.[20]

NBA career statisticsEdit

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular seasonEdit

2001–02 Cleveland 18 1 6.1 .414 .000 .200 .9 .3 .1 .6 1.4
2002–03 Cleveland 80 1 11.8 .351 .000 .367 2.7 .5 .4 1.0 1.5
2003–04 Cleveland 56 3 13.0 .388 .000 .600 3.6 .6 .5 .9 2.3
2004–05 Cleveland 39 0 7.8 .290 .000 .000 1.8 .4 .2 .7 1.0
2005–06 Dallas 81 45 18.6 .487 .500 .542 4.6 .3 .5 1.8 2.3
2006–07 Dallas 81 9 18.3 .470 .000 .558 5.4 .4 .5 1.4 2.3
2007–08 Dallas 52 18 17.2 .583 .000 .600 5.2 .5 .4 1.2 3.0
2007–08 New Jersey 27 5 14.9 .415 .000 .467 4.5 .5 .2 .9 2.5
2008–09 Dallas 34 0 13.3 .379 .000 .414 3.5 .4 .4 .7 1.6
2008–09 Charlotte 41 1 14.2 .460 .000 .270 3.8 .5 .4 .8 2.8
2009–10 Charlotte 27 0 9.7 .517 .000 .222 2.4 .2 .2 .5 1.2
2010–11 Charlotte 16 0 11.3 .333 .000 .364 2.5 .4 .3 .9 1.3
2011–12 Charlotte 27 9 12.0 .357 .000 .167 3.1 .9 .2 .5 1.1
2012–13 Charlotte 22 1 10.3 .296 .000 .000 2.3 .6 .2 .7 .7
Career 601 93 14.0 .427 .167 .467 3.7 .4 .4 1.0 2.0


2006 Dallas 22 18 18.5 .615 .000 .611 5.0 .1 .6 1.3 2.7
2007 Dallas 6 3 23.3 .600 .000 .429 6.8 .3 .5 1.7 3.5
Career 28 21 19.5 .611 .000 .560 5.4 .1 .6 1.4 2.9


  1. ^ a b Diop declares for NBA draft
  2. ^ Cavaliers: Cavalier DeSagana Diop Holds a Special Reading Timeout in French with St. Ignatius High School Students Archived 2008-03-12 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "2001 NBA draft board". USA Today. July 2, 2001. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
  4. ^ "Mavs Sign Diop". 2009-08-19. Archived from the original on August 22, 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
  5. ^ ESPN – Denver vs. Dallas Recap, November 15, 2005
  6. ^ "DeSagana Diop 2005-06 Game Log". Basketball Reference. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  7. ^ [1] Archived May 13, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ ESPN – NBA Statistics and League Leaders – National Basketball Association
  9. ^ ESPN – NBA Statistics and League Leaders – National Basketball Association
  10. ^ ESPN – NBA Statistics and League Leaders – National Basketball Association
  11. ^ Mavs blow 20-point lead before eliminating Spurs in OT
  12. ^ Mavericks set franchise record with 30th road victory
  13. ^ "Nets Acquire Harris". 2008-02-19. Retrieved 2009-07-20.
  14. ^ "Diop back in the fold". 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2009-02-28.
  15. ^ "Bobcats Acquire DeSagana Diop from Dallas Mavericks". 2009-01-16. Archived from the original on 2009-01-20. Retrieved 2009-01-16.
  16. ^ Cavaliers Announce 2013-14 Training Camp Roster
  17. ^ "Cavs waive DeSagana Diop, Kenny Kadji, Jermaine Taylor, Elliot Williams". Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  18. ^ "Nick Van Exel, DeSagana Diop Join Legends' Coaching Staff". November 11, 2014. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  19. ^ "Legends Round out Coaches' Bench". October 19, 2015. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  20. ^ "Jazz Announce Basketball Staff Addition". October 3, 2016. Retrieved October 3, 2016.

External linksEdit