The Warriors‘ streak of five consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals has come to an end, but Andre Iguodala – now a member of the Heat – is set to extend his streak of Finals appearances to six in a row.
Having spent six years in Golden State and claiming three championships during that time, Iguodala is now part of another winning organization that is vying for its own third title in the last 10 years. Speaking to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the veteran forward suggested that it’s tricky to compare the Heat and Warriors – who operate on different philosophies – and declare that one franchise is “better” than the other.
“It’s just that you can take two different roads to success,” Iguodala said. “At the end of the day, the principles are still the same. You come in, you work hard, the talent is going to take you to the top. That’s sports in general. The most talented teams are going to get there at the end and are probably going to have the best shot.
“Then however you figure out how to bring together everyone, whether it’s through yoga or meditation (with the Warriors) or here where it’s a little bit of a different type of mindset, where it’s that we’re going to get through this pain together and that’s going to get us to the next level,” Iguodala continued. “It’s just different ways of taking that talent to the next level, and both have had success in the ways that they’ve gone about it. There’s a deep appreciation for both.”
Iguodala’s conversation with Amick touched on several other topics, including his role with the NBPA, how he’s coping with life in the Orlando bubble, and what his plans are once his playing days are over. The Q&A is worth checking out in full if you’re an Athletic subscriber, but here are a few of Iguodala’s most interesting comments:
On his perception of the way the game of basketball has evolved:
“As you see in the bubble, there’s more fouls called than ever. They want high scores. I think more guys are put in a box. It’s catch-and-shoot threes, or catch-and-drive real hard to the basket and dunk finish. The little nuances of the game, gamesmanship, it’s not as appreciated or it’s not as sought after or valued as much.
I know a lot of guys in the league, like a Jrue Holiday or an Eric Gordon, they have so much to their game, but the way the game is played now, they’ve taken that out of their games because they said, ‘All right, we want you to shoot 3s. We want you to defend, put your head down and drive.’ And those are two prime examples, where guys are like, ‘Man, this guy was a monster to deal with,’ but the way the game has changed you’re limiting a lot of guys. That’s just the evolution of the game and where it’s going. I think it’ll come back eventually, but like I said, seeing those things I know my value because of my IQ or even at the next level, if I can get to a front office or head a team.”
On whether he’d have interest in coaching after he retires as a player:
“No. No coaching. I won’t rule it out, but I doubt it. I’ve got little kids, and I want to be present for them. But yeah, like I said, there’s so many opportunities, and that’s probably the hardest thing for me, is to decide which one I’m going to go into or could I still be able to juggle these things when I’m done playing. Can I have a role here, or a role here and a role there? That’s a really hard thing to do when you retire because there’s always that saying: Once you’re out the league, they forget about you. You hear about that a lot.
“But I’ve established myself in other things that I have going on, and I’m really looking forward to those things, and I’m still bringing those things into the basketball world as well, bringing a large cohort of players who I’ve grown with and who I have a relationship with, bringing them aboard with me as well in the tech space.”
On whether he’s serious about playing in the NBA until he’s 40:
(Note: Iguodala, 36, has previously spoken about just wanting to play one or two more years, but said earlier in the Q&A Amick that he could easily play until he’s 40.)
“Nah, I won’t play until I’m 40.”