I’ll never forget a June morning two years ago after the Golden State Warriors had knocked off the Cavaliers and taken their second title in three years. I was sitting in my car playing KBLX radio, dreading walking into work, reading on my ESPN app about that Andre Iguodala was seriously considering joining the Houston Rockets.
As I tried to simultaneously convince myself he was bluffing while talking myself into Patrick McCaw being a suitable replacement, I heard Iguodala’s voice coming through my car speakers. He had called into the KBLX morning show! As he gently cautioned Dub Nation in a soothing tone to not get too emotional over the process, I started cracking up. Here this famous millionaire was taking time out of his day to tell the fans to relax! Right then, I felt he was coming back. And he did.
Flash two June’s forward and the 2015 Finals MVP made another radio guest appearance, this time on New York’s Power 105 show, “The Breakfast Club”. He spoke about a variety of topics, including the Golden Empire’s future, which he seemed quite confident about.
Less than a week later, Kevin Durant bolted in free agency, and the Warriors dumped Iguodala to the Grizzlies as a salary cap casualty. The franchise felt it had to go younger and unload Iguodala’s sizable contract. It made sense, but emotionally the wound goes deep for a fan base that watched Iguodala serve as the ultimate glue guy for a dynasty.
Monte Poole of NBCS Bay Area selected some of Warriors coach Steve Kerr’s most salient thoughts on the subject from The Warriors Insiders podcast:
“I’m not going to lie. That was probably the most ... not even probably -- that was the most painful loss, in terms of a personnel move, that I’ve felt as a coach in my five years.”
“Andre really embodied everything that I tried to teach to our players in terms of the culture, the unselfishness, the sacrifice,” Kerr said. “He set the example in Year 1 by agreeing to come off the bench. He’s a guy who has been able to relate to everybody, play any role we’ve asked him to play.”
“What Andre has meant to not only our team but to me personally, as a coach, for accepting his role, for mentoring younger players, for monitoring the bench and keeping everything going...Andre was the unsung hero of all of this.”
The video that I created for GSoM’s YouTube channel (don’t forget to like and subscribe) on Iguodala’s run with Golden State emphasizes how his decision to come to the Bay transformed the Warriors into a brotherhood of basketball dominance.
Thank you, Andre!