After two years away, Andre Iguodala is back to where he belongs with the Golden State Warriors. However, it wasn’t his only option. There were plenty of teams that would’ve welcomed the veteran forward. In the end, he decided to reunite with the squad he won three championships with.
The Los Angeles Lakers were among the team he was considering signing with but the Warriors won out in the end. Fox Sports analyst and noted LeBron James detractor Skip Bayless took Iguodala signing with Golden State as a slight towards the Lakers star. Iguodala wasn’t taking the bait and sent a strong message to LeBron.
Every one of Iguodala championship wins came against a LeBron-led team so he knows just how good the Lakers star is. In fact, a big reason he won NBA Finals MVP in 2015 was due to his defense on LeBron. In that series, LeBron averaged 35.8 points a game and there’s an argument that he deserved to win NBA Finals MVP even though the Cleveland Cavaliers lost. Iguodala is right, there’s nobody who can truly stop LeBron.
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Will the Warriors Be Competition for Lakers?
Unlike the Eastern Conference, the Western Conference could be wide open next season. Even though the Phoenix Suns went to the NBA Finals this past season, there isn’t a definitive favorite out West. One team to watch will be the Warriors.
They’ve been without Klay Thompson for each of the last two seasons but he should be making his comeback this year. The core of Thompson, Steph Curry and Draymond Green won a championship before but haven’t been together in a couple of years. If they can stay healthy, the Warriors may be contenders in the Western Conference.
However, it’s hard to see them being better than the Lakers. It remains to be seen how well Thompson will play after missing two years with multiple devastating injuries. Los Angeles is old but so are the Warriors. It feels like they’re one or two pieces away from getting back to true title contention. That said, they have plenty of assets to pull off a big move before or during the season.
Should Lakers Be Worried About Age?
At the heart of Bayless’ tweet was a shot at the Lakers over the age of their current roster. There’s no doubt that the team is old. They added Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony and Trevor Ariza, who are all 35 or older. The team already had Marc Gasol and LeBron, who are both 36. An already old team just got older.
It’s fair to criticize the team for getting older but that doesn’t mean the season is doomed from the start. The Lakers have plenty of talent. If some of those players can turn back the clock for just one season, it’s going to be hard to beat them. Health will be the key to Los Angeles’ season. If these older players can stay healthy, the Lakers will have a strong shot at another title.