After helping the Golden State Warriors win the NBA title in 2017, Andre Iguodala had a choice to make.
Iguodala, the MVP of Golden State’s 2015 Finals victory, was an unrestricted free agent who, as an experienced, versatile veteran with the ability to contribute in an array of roles, was set to receive plenty of interest on the open market.
Reports indicated that Iguodala and his camp were disappointed with the initial offer presented by Golden State, so to the market they went. After talks with a number of teams, including the Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings, Iguodala eventually re-signed with the Warriors, agreeing to a three-year, $48 million deal.
But it wasn’t without some serious drama.
In an interview with ESPN’s Zach Lowe, Warriors coach Steve Kerr recounted the uncertainty surrounding Iguodala’s free agency. Kerr said he was not worried about Iguodala choosing the Rockets because of what they could offer financially.
The Kings, on the other hand, had plenty of cash at their disposal. Iguodala decided to have some fun with that — at the expense of Kerr and Warriors general manager Bob Myers.
“Sacramento was involved and they were offering him a big deal,” Kerr told Lowe. “And typical Andre, he decided to play a joke on Bob and me. He got us on a conference call and told us he was going to go to Sacramento. We wished him well and he was like, ‘I got you, suckers! I’m coming back!’ That’s typical Andre.”
Kerr said he bought Iguodala’s joke for “a few seconds,” but only because Iguodala could not keep them in the dark for too long.
“He gave it away quickly,” Kerr said. “He just started laughing and said, ‘nah, just kidding!’”
“You’ve got to have guys like that”
On a team with Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Iguodala does not need to be a double-digit scorer like he was during his time with the Philadelphia 76ers. In fact, this year he averaged a career low 6.0 points per game.
But when Iguodala was sidelined for four games of the Western Conference Finals, his presence, especially on defense, was sorely missed. And according to Kerr, Iguodala offers just as much off the court as a mentor for younger players.
“Andre has taken every young wing that’s come through here and tried to teach them about the league, about little tricks they can use, how to prepare,” Kerr said. “(Kevon) Looney lost like 30 pounds last summer after consecutive hip surgeries and he credits Andre with telling him, ‘You’ve got to change your diet.’ And he did, and it helped him dramatically.
“You’ve got to have guys like Andre built into your roster.”
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