Now, He's A Warrior


The team at Hashtag Basketball is chronicling the career path of Andre Iguodala. Sixers feature writer Jordan Christmas kicked things off with "First, He Was a Sixer" followed by "Then, He Was a Nugget," written by Nuggets writer Dan Fatigato. Here is the final installment in Iggy's career look back.

Source: fansided.com

"I feel like this is the place I want to play."

On the first day of free agency back in 2013, these were some of the first words uttered from Andre Iguodala's mouth. Warriors General Manager Bob Myers was there to hear them, as was owner Joe Lacob and former Warriors coach Mark Jackson.

As Myers explained to the Associated Press, Iggy already had a real fondness for his future team.

"Before we could say too much, [Iguodala] was telling us how much he admired our team, how he admired our coach and our players. We said, 'Do we have to sell you on anything?' He said, 'Look, I feel like this is the place I want to play.' That moment was a transformative moment for our franchise."


When Iguodala signed to the Warriors via a three-team, sign-and-trade deal in the summer of 2013, he officially became an NBA veteran.

He was one of three players on the 2014 roster that had nine or more years of NBA experience. The season after that, he and Leandro Barbosa were the only two Warriors with 10+ NBA seasons under their belts. And for this year, he and his two Brazilian teammates, Barbosa and now Anderson Varejao, are the only players with 11+ years of experience playing in the best basketball league in the world.

Not only has Iguodala become a veteran voice for a premier NBA franchise, but he's also become the voice of a deep Warriors bench and talented second unit. In his first year with Golden State, Iggy started all 63 games that he played in. A year later, Coach Steve Kerr decided he wanted young Harrison Barnes to start so that Iguodala could come off the bench to spark the Warriors' second unit.

Now usually guys as talented and seasoned as Iguodala would protest such a coaching move. However, Iggy trusted Golden State's coaching staff and their vision. His patience was rewarded when he was called upon to start Games 4 and 5 for the Warriors in last year's NBA Finals. Iguodala's stellar defense on Lebron James saw him lift not only the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, but also the Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Trophy.


Even with Iguodala's enthusiasm about coming to play in the Bay Area, Bob Myers still had a tough road ahead of him to finish the deal, as he told Sporting News back in August of 2013.

“Andre was still a longshot, too. And it looked like more of a longshot as we were going through the process...you can say you tried really hard, but no one wants to hear that. Many times it looked futile. I killed it, five, 10, 20 different times. I said, ‘We’re not getting him, we can’t do it.’”

Cap space was Myers' worst enemy three summers ago but thankfully, he was able to move the right amount of pieces --- Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson, Brandon Rush, and some first round draft picks --- to finalize one of the most important signings in Golden State Warriors history.


The Warriors are now one win away from a second NBA Championship and Andre Iguodala has had a lot to with that. His number have steadily decreased from his 76ers days, thanks to less minutes, but when Iguodala does make it onto the court, he makes a severe impact, especially on the defensive end. 

His combination of long arms and quick feet have become, as I like to call it, "the star stopper." Whether it's James Harden in last year's Conference Finals, Kevin Durant in this year's Conference Finals, or Lebron James in back to back NBA Finals, Andre Iguodala has been called upon time and time again to stop an opposing team's superstar when it matter most.

This coming Monday, all Iguodala has to do is lock up Lebron one final time in order to win his second NBA Title. Playing in front of his home crowd, I think Iggy's got it in him to finish the job.


I will now leave you with some of my favorite Iguodala moments as a Golden State Warrior.

Introductory Press Conference

Warriors Debut

 

The Cross Heard 'Round The World

 

Full Game - Thunder Game-Winner 

High Praise From Draymond Green

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