On Thursday, Andre Iguodala held up his Golden State Warriors No. 9 jersey for the first time at the end of a presser, concerning to the now-finalized deal that landed him in the Bay Area. That acquisition is the centerpiece of general manager Bob Myers’ plan for the Dubs over the next few years post-Carl Landry/Jarrett Jack.
We’ve already extensively covered his tangible additions to the team: hard-nosed defense, size, slashing and a veteran presence. However, this signing means something more. Andre Iguodala becoming a Warrior, as well as how he got there, is a defining moment in the modern history of the franchise.
Iggy’s a big name in today’s NBA. Whether he’s still elite or not all-around is up for debate, but it’s a fact that his offensive numbers have dipped lately. It’s also a fact that he’s a prominent player, and was one of the more coveted free-agents out there. When Golden State decided to go after him, getting the sit down was easy.
Not too long ago, though, Myers sat down with the man who pretty much put Denver on his back in the playoffs this year. He expected to have to sell the Bay Area. Sell the Warriors. Sell a team and a franchise that’s been mired in mediocrity or worse for the better part of twenty-plus years. But you know what? He didn’t have to.
As he said in Thursday’s presser, the first thing that happened when he met Iggy was that the former Nugget talked first. Talked about how much he admires this team and their young coach. How impressed he’s been with them and how much he loves the culture. He wanted to be a Warrior from the start, something that doesn’t happen much. For the first time in years, big names want to don the blue and gold.
Somewhere along the crazy, up-and-down, emotional ride that was this past season, Golden State became a desirable location. It’s something that fans aren’t going to be surprised by, but the NBA at large will be. This franchise has been quietly setting up to make noise. Just another cog in that plan is the awesome new arena that’s being discussed for sometime around 2017.
They’ve got the young, good team. They’ve got the rising superstar. They’ve drafted well for a few straight years now. They’ve got the best fans in the league. Now, they have a legitimate marquee free agent. Most importantly, he wanted to join up. The Warriors didn’t have to pursue, pitch, or fight for him beyond freeing up the necessary cap space. The Bay Area is now officially a destination, as defined by its newest resident in Andre Iguodala.
And you know what? He won’t be the last. That much is for sure.