Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors returned to the Grind City for the first time since his trade to the Memphis Grizzles on July 7, 2019. Not surprisingly, he was met with boos from the moment he entered the March 28 game at the 3:18 mark of the first quarter, and the moment he took his first shot of the game. Because the pandemic, this has been the first time the Memphis crowd has got to see Iguodala at the FedExForum.
The origin of the animosity dates back to Iguodala not playing a single minute for the Grizzles during his seven-month stint with the team during the 2019-20 season. Iguodala was finally dealt to Miami on February 5, 2020, ending a stalemate between the 2015 Finals MVP and the Grizzles.
“We’re getting a good player,” Dillon Brooks said about trading Iguodala for Justice Winslow. “Now we have a player that we’re getting that actually wants to play with us and thinks we’re good. We can keep the ball rolling.”
Grizzles superstar offered similar settlements as Brooks after Iguodala was traded away.
Iguodala told the Athletic back in 2020 that it was a ‘mutual agreement’ that he stay away while the team looked to find a trade destination for him.
Iguodala Blames the Wealthy for the Jeers from the Memphis Faithful
As eloquent as Iguodala is with the media, he has been rather vague on exactly what it was as to why he never suited up for the Grizzles. With the Miami Heat and his second stint with the Warriors, he has been known as someone who has been very vocal in helping younger players develop and mature, yet he never provided the Grizzles young players with that sort of mentorship.
“This is my second time playing here,” Iguodala tells the media as to why he was getting booed after the loss to Memphis. “I think that’s just part of how sports and fans have become. They are more into the games with their emotions and feelings and obviously the narrative that can be driven, especially from those that are of wealth that control the media and are in ownership position. They can kinda control the narrative of how it goes out there. I’m understanding that the true story isn’t always going to get out there. You deal with it and move forward.”
The 38-year-old pivots to how that’s why a lot of players have decided to use their own platform to get their own words and beliefs out there to the public. However, Iguodala did not really elaborate on what it was exactly that led to such bitterness from his former Memphis teammates.
At this point, we can only wonder. Maybe eventually, the former Arizona Wildcat will delve on what it was exactly after he retires.
Grizzles Star Continue to Pile on to Andre Iguodala After Blowout Win
March 28’s game against the Grizzles was the first game Iguodala was back. It was probably a coincidence he returned on such an occasion, since his divorce from Memphis was rather messy.
“We all had the vision and he didn’t, which is perfect,” Brooks said after the game about Iguodala. “Send him back to the Warriors and let him do his thing over there.”
Obviously, there still seems to be bad blood, and both sides do not seem to even want to settle the noise. If both of these teams end up advancing in the playoffs, they could potentially play against each other, and that would be filled with real animosity and drama.