Andre Iguodala reveals why he wasn’t ready for his time with Warriors to end and shares his favorite memory with them

Why Andre Iguodala wasn’t ready for his time with Warriors to end

Drew Shiller | NBC SPORTS

In the days and weeks leading up to Kevin Durant officially becoming a free agent last summer, the Warriors were preparing for his departure.

And as Golden State owner Joe Lacob told Greg Papa on Monday night: “We were hoping it was Brooklyn if [Durant] left. And the reason is that we knew that D’Angelo [Russell] was a possibility in a sign-and-trade. That was really our only possibility of getting something back with Kevin Durant leaving.”

Unfortunately for the Warriors, they were forced to trade Andre Iguodala (along with a top-four protected 2024 first-round pick) in order to acquire Russell. They could have passed on D-Lo and kept the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, but that would have limited their flexibility to build out the roster beyond the 2019-20 season.

Iguodala told Ethan Strauss of The Athletic on Monday night that he was not ready for his time in a Dubs uniform to come to an end.

“I feel like we had something to prove again,” he explained. “The way we played that Game 6 [against the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals]. We had the game, like, one or two possessions to push it to a Game 7.

“The way we played that night, Steph [Curry] was due for a big game. I had it going that night. We felt like we were going to run it back. We always felt like we had something to prove. And we felt like people didn’t respect us like they should.”

Iguodala has a point. Many people in the basketball world completely wrote the Warriors off last year when KD went down in Game 5 against the Houston Rockets. The Dubs responded by winning Game 6 on the road (Iguodala recorded 17 points, five steals and three assists) — which is Steve Kerr’s favorite game as the franchise’s coach.

And despite going to the NBA Finals five straight years and capturing three championships along the way, there are those that still question the Dubs’ legitimacy.

Yet with NBA TV ratings down this year and the prevailing narrative that it’s been a “boring” season so far, perhaps the Warriors were a good thing for the league in general.

“I think they’re kind of missing what we brought to the table the last five years,” Iguodala explained. “You know, people don’t know what they’re missing till it’s gone. They don’t appreciate it till it’s gone.

“But we always knew it was something special. As long as we were connected and the core was together we were in prime position to keep making runs at it.”

Andre Iguodala reveals favorite memory from memorable Warriors tenure

Josh Schrock | NBC SPORTS

The Warriors lost their third game in a row Monday, falling 113-101 to the Miami Heat at Chase Center.

But that wasn’t the story.

Andre Iguodala, who was a key cog in the Warriors’ run to five straight NBA Finals, made his return Monday as a member of the Heat. He was celebrated with a tribute video and a short speech from former teammate Klay Thompson.

The 2015 NBA Finals MVP scored two points in the Heat’s win, but they acquired him at the trade deadline from the Memphis Grizzlies for the impact they believe he will have in the postseason.

After the win over his old mates, Iguodala spoke with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Kerith Burke on the surreal feeling of the entire night.

“It’s pretty interesting,” Iguodala said after the win. “We actually ran some plays that I would run — [coach Erik Spoelstra] is pretty good at that. He got me a bucket running one of the plays that we would run normally. It’s interesting, but seeing the young guys, seeing how they are developing — Damion Lee shot the ball great tonight, seeing Jordan Poole progress and develop is good to see.”

During his six seasons with the Warriors, Iguodala was part of a number of great moments, but one sticks out more than the rest.

“I think Steph’s unanimous MVP,” Iguodala told Burke. “That might be it. Steph’s unanimous MVP was probably my favorite moment because people don’t know the hard work he puts in. I think they know but they don’t know. I think he was a little bit overlooked. Players across the league didn’t quite respect him, but when they saw it, it was beautiful seeing like, ‘Oh s–t, this guy is really, really good.’ So that was beautiful seeing him humble the entire world and being a part of that.”

Many thought Iguodala eventually would return to the Warriors, but he signed an extension with the Heat upon the trade. However, he is open to a reunion, either on the court or in a different role at some point in the future.

“Oh, that’s no doubt. That’s a given,” Iguodala said about wanting a relationship with the Warriors in the future. “I still talk to the video guys like every other day. I was talking to them this morning. I was talking to Draymond two days ago. Those relationships never end, so they continue until we’re no longer here.”

Iguodala’s tenacious defense and clutch shooting helped the Warriors win three titles in five seasons. Now, he’ll try to help bring a title back to South Beach.

Andre Iguodala traded to Heat, agrees to two-year extension

Drew Shiller | NBC SPORTS

Former Warriors forward Andre Iguodala reportedly has found a new basketball home.

Memphis is trading the 2015 NBA Finals MVP to the Miami Heat, according to multiple national reports.

But the biggest news regarding the deal is that Iguodala has agreed to a two-year extension worth $30 million, a league source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The second year — the 2021-22 season — is a team option, a source told Shams Charania of The Athletic.

So in the end, Iguodala will not be a free agent this summer and there will not be a reunion with Golden State.

The Warriors were forced to trade Iguodala (along with a top-four protected 2024 first-round pick) to Memphis last July when they agreed to a sign-and-trade transaction that brought D’Angelo Russell to the Dubs.

Iguodala — who turned 36 years old last week — struck an agreement with Memphis before training camp opened that allowed him to remain in the Bay Area while the franchise worked on finding a trade partner.

“It’s never been, ‘I don’t want to be there,'” the three-time NBA champion recently told ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz. “It’s, ‘Let’s have the conversations in terms of what it looks like going forward. How can I be a value to you? How can you be a value to me? And then how can we make that happen?'”

The Heat enter Wednesday night’s game at the Clippers tied for third place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 34-15.

GOLDEN REUNION? Iguodala on wanting Curry to sit out the rest of the season for “selfish reasons”: He’s going to come back on a wrath next year”

Andre Iguodala says Stephen Curry should sit out whole year, subtly hints at a possible Warriors reunion

Iguodala said he has ‘selfish’ reasons for wanting Curry to rest up

Brad Botkin | CBS SPORTS

The Warriors didn’t want to get rid of Andre Iguodala; they were forced to. When they made the sign-and-trade that sent Kevin Durant — who they were going to lose for nothing — to the Nets in exchange for D’Angelo Russell, the result was a hard cap of $138.9 million, meaning the Warriors could not exceed that total salary at any point during the 2019-20 season. 

Someone had to go. Iguodala, who was traded to Memphis, was the casualty. Only Iguodala didn’t want to play for Memphis, or even live there, and so a handshake deal was struck that he was only on the Grizzlies on paper. He doesn’t practice with them. He obviously doesn’t play with them. 

Memphis wants to trade Iguodala to a contender, but so far nobody has offered anything to their liking. Everyone’s hoping the Grizzlies will end up having to buy Iguodala out, at which point someone else can sign him without having to trade any assets. 

In the meantime, Iguodala is making $17.1 million to chill. Speaking on ESPN’s First Take on Friday, Iguodala said the rest he’s gotten so far this season has been a “blessing in disguise” that he believes has “added years” to his career. 

He’s staying in shape because chances are he’s going to end up playing somewhere this season (the Grizzlies are running out of time to avoid buying him out) are pretty good. He talked about the Lakers and Clippers, long rumored as two of the favorites to land Iguodala should Memphis end up buying him out. 

Iguodala also had something interesting to say about his former Warriors teammate Stephen Curry, who’s been out since the second week of the season with a broken hand but is reportedly targeting an early March return. When asked if Curry should return to play this season, here’s how Iguodala responded

“Selfish reasons, no,” Iguodala said. “I think he needs to get a real break, in terms of being able to relax. I think it’s good for him mentally to be able to step away, be able to get a nice breather. He’s going to come back on wrath next year.”

So, about next year … Is a Warriors-Iguodala reunion a possibility? Yes. We’ve known that for some time. Golden State will not be hard-capped any longer after this season and would be free to re-sign Iguodala if he would agree to a contract that fits inside their exceptions. But two words have to make you wonder if this reunion is actually more likely than just a possibility: Selfish reasons. 

Watch the video. Look at the smirk on Iguodala’s face when he says he has selfish reasons for wanting Steph Curry to sit out the rest of this season and come back fully rested next year.

What possible other selfish reasons would he have for wanting Curry to sit the rest of this season? If he ends up on a contender in a few weeks, it’s not like he’d have to worry about going against Curry in the playoffs. The Warriors have the worst record in the league. So what, then? 

Obviously nothing definitive can be extracted from an off-the-cuff comment on TV, and even if Iguodala is hoping to return to Golden State next season, a lot can happen between now and then. He could end up on a contender this season, play great, maybe win a title, and decide he wants to stay for another year. The Warriors could want to go in a different direction once their offseason takes shape — though it’s hard for me to imagine, given their salary-cap options, that they wouldn’t take Iguodala back in a heartbeat if the money worked for both sides. 

We’ll see how it shakes out. But for now, Iguodala thinks Curry should take a nice long rest this season and come back fresh. For selfish reasons. 

Ja Morant’s smooth confidence is the best thing in the NBA right now – but should the Grizzlies really keep Andre Iguodala for a playoff run?

Charles Curtis | USA TODAY SPORTS

We all knew Ja Morant could play at Murray State, when we saw the guard lead the Racers to a first-round upset of Marquette in the 2019 NCAA tournament with a triple-double.

But now, nearly halfway through his first NBA season, we know the Memphis Grizzlies rookie can play … AND he’s not afraid of anyone in the league at the age of 20.

Seriously: did you see what he did on Tuesday night? The shocking Grizzlies — the eighth seed in the West at the moment at 19-22 — won their sixth straight by taking down James Harden and the Houston Rockets. And Morant (a team-high 26 points while missing just ONE field goal, eight dimes and three shots from distance) dismantled the Rockets by doing stuff like this:

Look at how he broke down Harden and shot from three when the defense gave him room — as social media pointed out, Morant had something NSFW to say after one of those shots:

Morant doesn’t take a ton of threes — about 2.3 per game — but he hits them at a 40.7 percent clip when he does shoot. So here’s what that clip tells me: he’s overflowing with confidence. Clearly, the Rockets know he prefers to slash, and that there are critics out there worried that he can’t shoot in an NBA world where guards like him need to shoot well:

I should say he’s also proven his basketball IQ is high, which helps:

There are other reasons the Grizzlies are shocking the world. Jaren Jackson Jr. is taking another step forward a year after being the fourth overall pick in 2019. Dillon Brooks learned how to hit from distance and is taking more threes. Brandon Clarke is every bit the sleeper everyone thought he would be out of Gonzaga. Jonas Valanciunas is still Jonas Valanciunas.

But it’s Ja — he’s fast becoming one of those NBA players you refer to by a single name — who’s tying them all together and bringing the confidence that makes him one of the must-watch players in the entire league.

Should Memphis try to bring Andre Iguodala back into the fold for a playoff push?

Cole McCauley | CLUTCH POINTS

Last July, Golden State Warriors small forward Andre Iguodala was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. Just two months later and the Grizzlies and Iguodala reached a mutual agreement that effectively let the former Finals MVP part ways with the team.

And while Iguodala is still on the Grizzlies roster, the veteran swingman has yet to appear in a game for Memphis and as of now, doesn’t look like he’s going to unless he is traded. Iguodala was vocally less than happy when he learned he was traded to Memphis since the thought was the Grizzlies were rebuilding, and the 15-year veteran was searching for another championship or at least to play on a playoff team.

Yet, fast forward three months into the season and the Grizzlies are in the midst of their first six-game win streak since 2016 and currently, 19-22, sit as the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

With a salary of over $17 million dollars this season, Memphis ‘ highest-paid player isn’t playing for the team. It isn’t a guarantee that the Grizzlies can keep up this level of success and sneak into the playoffs in a tough Western Conference. Regardless, with young stars such as Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis has built itself a solid core and one that could probably use more veteran presence.

At the same time, whether it’s recency bias or not, the Grizzlies are playing great basketball. The team chemistry is great and people are excited about Memphis basketball for the first time in a while. Morant is almost guaranteed the Rookie of the Year award by now and the team can score with the best of them.

Adding back a player like Iguodala, while beneficial in many ways, would likely take away from the development of the many young prospects that Memphis has on the roster. Often times, the best way to improve is to get experience and with one of the youngest rosters in the NBA, the Grizzlies are demonstrating that.

And while the Grizzlies could very well sneak into the playoffs for the first time in three seasons, it’ll likely be as the seventh or eighth seed. The Grizzlies are one of the best up-and-coming teams in the league but that doesn’t mean they’re contenders.

If Iguodala is serious about winning another championship, he should still try to push his way out of Memphis. The team is doing just fine without him and while he is still a great role player in the league, at 35 years old, Iggy simply isn’t what he used to be.

I don’t think it would necessarily hurt the Grizzlies if Iguodala came back and played for the team. In fact, I think his veteran leadership would really help a young team.

But, it seems that’s not what Iguodala wants and the Grizzlies should lean into the youth movement they have going right now because it’s clearly working.

Why Kyle Shanahan was a Warriors fan before becoming 49ers coach

Drew Shiller | NBC SPORTS

Did you know that 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan has been a fan of the Warriors for years?

During his Wednesday morning press conference, Shanahan was asked if he has picked up anything in particular from observing Golden State.

“I just have always been a fan of them, even before I got here,” he told reporters. “Just watching how they play. I remember saying in Atlanta that I wanted our receiver group to be similar to the Warriors to where, ‘Who knows who the starter is.’ 

“They all play. Andre Iguodala. I think he wasn’t the starter and then he was the conference finals or whatever it’s called — the NBA championship — MVP. The seven games that mattered at the end (laughter). You think of stuff like that.

“You just got guys who seem really not to care how it gets done. They all just go out there and ball and see where the weakness in the defense is and wherever that ends up, that guy shoots. And that’s a lot how I see offense.”

It’s called the “NBA Finals” coach. The “NBA Finals.”

Good luck in the “game of championship NFC” this Sunday against the Packers of Green Bay! (just having some fun …)

As for Iguodala — in 2014-15, he came off the bench during all 77 of his regular season appearances, and the Warriors’ first 18 playoff games. But he started Games 4 through 6 of the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the Dubs captured their first championship in 40 years.

Iguodala averaged 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.3 steals against the Cavs, while shooting 52 percent overall and 40 percent from deep. He was named NBA Finals MVP.

And just because we’re feeling nostalgic right now, don’t ever forget what happened in Game 2 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors:

It’s unclear where the soon-to-be 36-year-old will end up in the coming weeks, but hopefully he gets the opportunity to make some big plays throughout the 2020 playoffs.

Andre Iguodala retiring with Warriors ‘virtual lock,’ Marc Stein says

Dalton Johnson | NBC SPORTS 

Andre Iguodala cemented his legacy with the Warriors over his six-year tenure with the team, winning three championships for Golden State. His time as a Warrior might not be over, too. 

The Warriors traded Iguodala to the Grizzlies this offseason, a move that coach Steve Kerr called a “gut punch” on The Warriors Insider Podcast. Kerr could be reunited with Iguodala … next season. 

The New York Times’ Marc Stein called Iguodala returning to the Warriors for the 2020-21 season a “virtual lock” in his Wednesday newsletter. 

While Iguodala currently is on the Grizzlies’ roster, he is waiting for Memphis to either trade him or negotiate a contract buyout. Even if a contract buyout is completed, however, Iguodala can’t wind up back on the Warriors. A team that trades a player cannot re-sign him during the season in which he was traded. 

But the summer of 2020 could be a different story. 

[RELATED: Iguodala posts cryptic tweet before Clippers-Lakers opener]

Iguodala is due $17.8 million this season before he becomes a free agent this upcoming summer. Stein speculates when Iguodala hits the open market, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP will find his way to Chase Center. 

It only seems right.

NEW INTERVIEW: Andre Iguodala On Time w/ Warriors, Draymond Green vs KD, NBA/China & New Book

Former Golden State Warriors guard Andre Iguodala sits down with Ebro in the Morning for an open conversation about his time with the Warriors, being traded, Michael Jordan, his thoughts on the Kevin Durant vs Draymond Green saga, playing with Allen Iverson, Steve Kerr, the NBA/China saga, USA basketball, life after his career is over, his interest in tech, and more! His new book ‘The Sixth Man: A Memoir’ is out now.

Andre Iguodala finding it difficult to move on from time with Warriors

Monte Poole | NBC SPORTS 

LAGUNA SECA — Standing in a quiet space away from the roar of IndyCar engines, Andre Iguodala is willing to share some of the stories and thoughts that have transpired in the 12 weeks since the Warriors traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies.

For example: There are times, he admits, when he forgets he no longer is a Warrior, the voice of wisdom among former teammates Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Kevon Looney, as well as coach Steve Kerr and general manager Bob Myers.

Another example: There have been conversations with his new team — a buyout is not inconceivable — though he has yet to go to Memphis.

Iguodala explains that his presence at the racetrack festivities Sunday probably goes back to childhood, when his father, a NASCAR fan, would hijack the TV on Sundays and leave his sons and everyone else to pick up a book or watch along with him.

Iguodala relishes telling one Warriors story in particular, which developed in the days before and after the trade. He finds it funny. In a dark and surreal way, it is.

“Yo, I got this crazy story,” Iguodala tells NBC Sports Bay Area. “No one knows. No one knows this story. But I have a sense that something is going down; Bob Myers and I are pretty cool. We have our conversations, so we’re on the same page. It was, ‘It might happen, but it might not. Most likely, it will. So, we’ll see.’

“So, I’m texting my wife, telling her I’ll probably get traded because I think it’s 100 percent sure, even though everyone else is saying, it’s only a chance. Then, once KD (Kevin Durant) left, I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’ll probably get traded. They’re probably going to do a sign-and-trade, so they can get something back, to at least get assets for him.’ No one was thinking that. But I was thinking they’ll want to get assets back because they can’t just let him go. And they’ll probably move me as well. So, she asked me where I thought I would go. I said, ‘I don’t know, I’ll probably end up in Memphis or some s–t.’

“She says, ‘For real?’ I was like, ‘Maybe. But probably not. I don’t know.’

“The next day, I got the message. It was Memphis. I fell out laughing.”

A massive grin crosses Iguodala’s face. He likes this story and still has the text exchange with his wife, Christina, on his phone.

Citing the business of basketball and insisting he’s always aware of that aspect, he says he was not surprised by the trade. But it’s evident he’s not exactly eager to join the Grizzlies.

“We’ll see,” he says. “OK, maybe I shouldn’t say we’ll see. But we’re trying to figure out things on both sides. They’re trying to figure out some things, and I’m trying to figure out some things. As of today, we’re on the same page. Camp opens the next week. We’ll see. We’re on the same page, though.”

Is Iguodala ready to move on? Not quite. Too soon.

Iguodala spent most of the summer in the Bay Area, where he was a Warrior for six seasons, reaching the NBA Finals in the last five and winning three championships during the run. He also plans to live in the Bay Area for at least the next five or six years, no matter which jersey he wears when the NBA season begins next month.

There has been talk of a buyout deal with the Grizzlies. There also have been reports that Memphis does not plan to go that route. Asked if a buyout still is possible, Iguodala neither confirms nor denies the likelihood. Rather, he states his position on the matter.

“At this point, the only buyout that makes sense — if I’m speaking on someone else’s behalf, thinking as an agent — is you don’t leave money on the table,” he says. “Especially in this league. Because you’ll never get it back, no matter what people say. Negotiations are a tactic, so you’ve got to be careful how you approach it, or how you verbalize what you would do going forward. But you can’t leave anything on the table.”

This is the man who left $4 million on the table six years ago, when he joined the Warriors. The Sacramento Kings had presented an offer sheet worth $52 million over four years. The Nuggets and Warriors reached a sign-and-trade agreement, with Iguodala signing a four-year contract worth $48 million.

This indicates Iguodala is willing to make concessions — if he believes it’s worth it.

He chose the Warriors and enjoyed six seasons. From starter to Sixth Man to occasional starter — see the 2015 NBA Finals, for which he was named MVP — and always a coach on the floor and at practice, Iguodala accepted his roles and thrived.

“It was something special,” he says. “But I’m not the type to really reflect and enjoy because right now everything is about what’s next. I know it means more than I realize right now. I just haven’t been to sit back and say, ‘Yo, this was amazing.’ Everything has been focused on what’s next. There are so many things I want to accomplish that I haven’t been able to. But I know in 10 or 15 years, I can look back and say, ‘Yo, that was crazy.’

“But the relationships, with Steph and Klay and Draymond and KD and Shaun and Steve, the front office. Those things are special.”

When Iguodala saw Curry last Monday at TPC Harding Park for Curry’s benefit golf tournament, they talked about the usual things. The Warriors. The future. Upcoming practices. Until Iguodala caught himself.

“It was like I forget that I’m not on the same team,” he said. “I was texting with Loon and asking him what he was eating and talking about Jiu-Jitsu training. And then, it’s like, ‘Oh, I forgot. We’re not even on the same team anymore.’ I laugh about that all the time.”

Training camps open next week. The regular season begins on Oct. 22. Iguodala says he hasn’t bothered to look at the schedule, which he always does, partly to designate certain days, home or away, for golf possibilities.

Not interested. Not yet.

If you get the feeling that Iguodala is not ready move on, especially to Memphis, credit your powers of perception.