There’s one thing the NBA does far better than any other American sports league: Drama. From serious drama to playful drama, the NBA apparently takes their partnership with TNT very seriously.
We get it all in the NBA, from JR Smith throwing soup at staffers, to emoji-gate during DeAndre Jordan’s free agency, to players talking smack and trying (and occasionally failing) to back it up.
On Monday, some drama began to stir that involved the Golden State Warriors. It started, tangentially, with former Warriors wing Andre Iguodala.
You’ll recall that the Warriors traded Iguodala - along with a future first-round draft pick - to the Memphis Grizzlies over the offseason, a necessary move to clear the cap space to execute a sign-and-trade for D’Angelo Russell.
But before training camp could get underway, reports surfaced that Iguodala would not be reporting to the team. Iguodala didn’t want to play for a lottery-bound team, and Memphis didn’t have much need for him, since he’d be blocking their younger players. It seemed in everyone’s best interest for him to stay in shape on his own, until Memphis could trade him.
Things change. They always do. With the trade deadline two days away, it hasn’t been easy for the Grizzlies to find a good deal. And with Memphis suddenly firing on all cylinders, and currently occupying the eighth seed in the west, it’s fair to wonder what the team would look like with a savvy veteran on their squad.
It’s unclear how mutual the arrangement is. Iguodala is adamant about not playing for Memphis, even if they don’t trade him, and while the Grizzlies haven’t been vocal about the arrangement being mutual, they also haven’t bothered with fining him for missing practice or games.
But their young players are invested in the storyline. After beating the Detroit Pistons on Monday, Grizzlies shooting guard Dillon Brooks told reporters, “I can’t wait until we find a way to trade [Iguodala] so we can play him and show him what Memphis is about.”
Everything Dillon Brooks said about Andre Iguodala tonight. pic.twitter.com/1rDw0P2wp2— Mark Giannotto (@mgiannotto) February 4, 2020
Point guard Ja Morant - the overwhelming favorite in the Rookie of the Year race - took to Twitter to co-sign that statement.
Well, that got Steph Curry’s attention. Curry and Iguodala remain close friends, with Iguodala still living in the Bay Area. They golf together, and Iguodala recently joined Steph and his wife Ayesha for Ayesha’s restaurant opening in Las Vegas.
Curry and Iguodala are pretty transparent in their respect and admiration for each other.
So Curry took to Instagram to fire a playful shot at Morant:
AND NOW STEPH CHIMING IN: pic.twitter.com/fhxnREa48u— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) February 4, 2020
Morant, utterly fearless both on and off the court, fired back by bringing Kevin Durant into the discussion.
Whoa there. That’s quite a shot. Coming in HOT.
Now, this is all good and fun, and clearly just playful teasing. Still, Morant felt the need to clarify that he has nothing but love and respect for Curry, and even had the receipts to prove it:
Well, thanks for the entertainment, the whole lot of you.
Sadly the Warriors and Grizzlies don’t play again this year, so we’ll have to wait for next season to see Curry and Morant square off.