Andre Iguodala has been a locker room leader all season long for the Golden State Warriors. That fact has caused his recent comments to turn some heads on social media as he has called out the Warriors franchise, specifically the front office and younger players on the roster.
Iguodala called the Warriors apprraoh this season “disrespectful” according to a report by Anthony Slater of The Athletic (subscription required). (H/T Bleacher Report) The storied vet made this claim in reference to the younger players on the Warriors roster.
The Golden State Warriors have been falling apart over the last few months, and Andre Iguodala gave some strong remarks on the team’s approoach.
On Tuesday I had the opportunity to hold an interview with Josh Cornelissen, editor of King James Gospel, a fellow FanSided site. The Cavaliers are a familiar organization, one could say. We began with a simple question.
“How do you feel regarding the recent comments made by Andre Iguodala?”
Cornelissen responded with an in-depth analysis of comments throughout the season by numerous vets on the Warriors roster. He alluded to statements by the Warriors’ main core, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, regarding their feelings on the matter.
He further elaborated on this by saying, “They are vets trying to win and rookies aren’t as helpful to[wards] that goal. That’s the difference in priorities between star players and front offices.” He added that he is not bothered by this opinion shared by Iguodala.
When asked about how this may be disrespectful toward the young players on the roster who have been major contributors while Curry, Green, and Thompson have missed time, he answered with yet another analytical answer.
“[S]ure, those comments are disrespectful towards the young players. But they’re honest. No star wants rookies; they want battle-tested veterans ready to go to war. No one knows how [Jordan] Poole, [Jonathan] Kuminga and [Moses] Moody will do in the playoffs.”
This prompted me to ask how he believes these statements would affect the chemistry of the Warriors for the remainder of the season and going into the playoffs.
“I think it’s part of NBA culture for veterans to ‘disrespect’ rookies.” Cornelissen further expanded upon his point by saying, “The NBA is about winning, and until rookies prove they can help a team at a high level, the vets don’t trust that they will.”
Continuing his argument, he added, “Rookies/young players are also threatening to veterans. The play of Jordan Poole made Klay Thompson’s return less urgent; he likely lost a handful or more games because the team delay[ed]his return. Kevon Looney could get unseated by James Wiseman eventually. Guys like Damion Lee, Juan Toscano Anderson and Nemanja Bjelica have already been unseated by Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.
“I think the young players look up to Iggy, to Draymond, to Steph. They know they have to earn their spot. Iguodala’s comments, in my opinion, are more likely to drive them to play harder and ‘prove it’ to the vets than to mope their way to poor performances. It’s a hard league; it’s not up to Iguodala to make it easier”
I then asked Cornelissen about some comparisons the Warriors have drawn to the Spurs approach to rebuilding while still in contention.
“The Spurs are the exception, not the rule; LeBron [James] made the Finals 8-straight years [mostly] by his teams’ moving picks and young talent for vets. It’s a proven formula. The Golden State front office is trying to thread the needle; it may work, but it’s the longshot. Flipping their young players for another star would have helped them win this year more than keeping the rookies.”
Cornelissen seems to side with Iguodala on this topic. He also further emphasized his stance on the issue by adding that Iggy likely made this comment to further motivate the youth on the roster.
As a leader of this team, it is interesting to see Iguodala make seemingly negative statements about the young players on the Golden State Warriors.
He’s yet to have a big-time impact on the season, having missed numerous games in the last few months, so we’ll see if he can show that veteran savvy or just continue to pave the way for the next generation of Warriors basketball.