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After practicing alongside Boris Diaw for the first time, Jazz forward Derrick Favors chuckled that his new teammate is "faster than he looks."

Diaw, of course, has been surprising people around the NBA for years.

The 6-foot-8 Frenchman may be known best for his love of good coffee and his laid-back demeanor, but he has also proven to be one of the league's most versatile players and a sneaky athlete.

In a 2014 ESPN profile, Cleveland general manager David Griffin, then with the Phoenix Suns, recalled a story about Diaw that has since become infamous with the fun-loving forward.

"Boris walks into the gym one day wearing flip-flops and holding his customary cappuccino, which was a staple for him every morning," Griffin told ESPN. "It was during pre-draft workouts, so he sees the Vertec [machine] and asks what it is. We tell him it measures your vertical leap by determining how many of the bars you can touch. He asks what's the highest anyone has ever gone, and we tell him Amare' [Stoudemire] cleared the entire rack.

"Boris puts down the cappuccino, takes off his flip-flops and clears the entire rack on the first try," the story continued. "Then he calmly puts his flip-flops back on, picks up his cappuccino and walks away, saying, 'That was not difficult.' "

Asked to verify the story Thursday, Diaw did not disappoint.

"It's kind of a legend," he joked. "I remember that day. I don't know if I set up the record, but I remember being in flip flops with a coffee in my hand and jumping."

Is he, at age 34, still that athletic?

"No," Diaw said with a laugh. "Obviously. That was a while ago. … I've got some, but usually you see it like twice a month maybe. I'm going to get a block or something and you'll be like, 'Where's that from?' You'll see it happens every now and then."

Deep breaths

Offseason acquisitions George Hill and Joe Johnson are spending the first week of training camp getting acclimated to their new teammates, a new coaching staff and a new system.

But for two savvy veterans, the most challenging aspect has simply been catching their breath.

"I don't enjoy the altitude," Hill said. "I think that's the hardest thing to get used to is not being able to breathe for a week or so."

The point guard trained all summer knowing he would be dealing with Utah's elevation, but he has still had to fight through it early in camp.

"It's bad," he said with a grin. "I did cycling all summer and I still get here and I can't breathe and I'm like, 'Well why did I do that cycling?' "

Johnson's early arrival in Utah has helped him some.

"I'm a lot better than I was a month ago, I'll tell you that," he said.

The 16-year NBA veteran knows how tough Salt Lake City can be on visiting teams and he's looking forward to being on the other end this time around.

"It definitely gives us an edge," he said.

Injury report

Swingman Quincy Ford was held out of the Jazz's evening practice Wednesday after being hit in the head during the team's morning session, but had returned to play by Thursday morning.

The 23-year-old rookie free agent out of Northeastern signed a three-year deal with the Jazz earlier this month, though only $75,000 is guaranteed.

Twitter: @aaronfalk