Here’s why the Memphis Grizzlies are beefing with Andre Iguodala.
By the end of 2019, Andre Iguodala had accomplished a lot in his career.
He was an All-Defensive player, NBA All-Star, Finals MVP, and 3-time champion.
So being traded from one of the greatest teams ever –the Golden State Warriors- to a young team –the Memphis Grizzlies- that hadn’t been to the playoffs in a while didn’t sit well with him.
He wanted to play for a contender and didn’t want to risk hurting himself for a team that may or may not make the post-season.
Thus, after the trade between Golden State and Memphis went through, he decided to not dress for the team.
He told the team’s brass that he wanted to be traded to one of his preferred destinations or he’ll sit out the entire season.
Via The Athletic:
“Per league sources, Andre Iguodala is prepared to sit out the rest of this season if Memphis isn’t able to orchestrate a trade with one of the agreed-upon teams he designated by Thursday’s trade deadline.”
This decision angered the young Grizzlies.
Memphis is a team full of competitors. Their young, hungry, and want to win. They embody the grit and grind mentality that the Grizzlies are known for.
So, they responded to Iguodala like how any young competitor would:
“I laugh at that type of stuff. A guy that’s on our team that doesn’t want to be on our team. I can’t wait till we find a way to trade him, so we can play him and show him what really Memphis is about.” Dillon Brooks reportedly said.
But Brooks didn’t stop there. He also called out Iggy in other interviews.
The public criticism from his teammates that weren’t really his teammates didn’t deter Iguodala. He wanted to leave and was adamant about it.
Then on Feb. 7, 2020, Iguodala got his wish and was traded to the Miami Heat. He even agreed to an extension to stick around and compete with Jimmy Butler and the rest of the crew for two more seasons.
A few days later, Iggy publicly came out and told his side of the story.
He told Sam Amick that he never said he didn’t want to play with the Grizzlies. The decision to sit out and get traded was “mutual” between him and the organization.
Via Bleacher Report:
“It was never—like I never approached anyone to say, ‘Hey, this is not somewhere that I want to be, and I’m not going to show up,'” he said. “That never occurred. But that’s never going to get put out there because, you know.”
He added, “All I know is that I never stated that I wasn’t going to play there, and I never stated that I didn’t want to play with those guys. But I know that’s public territory (where they reacted), and I can handle it, and that’s why I never went out and said, ‘You know, this person is a liar. That person’s a liar.'”
The young Grizzlies didn’t respond and the beef seemed to have settled.
Maybe they were waiting to face off against their former teammate who was never really their teammate to say something, but the bickering seemed to have subsided.
…until 2022 when Brooks reignited the feud.
The Grizzlies were hosting the Warriors, whom Iggy had reunited with earlier in the season.
The Warriors were missing some of their key players, such as Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, and the Grizzlies took advantage of that fact and battered them.
The Grizzlies didn’t let the Warriors get comfortable once.
They wanted to show Iggy what he missed out on and proved their point with a 43-point second quarter.
Iguodala played 15 minutes and couldn’t do anything to help his team against the ravaging Grizzlies.
By the end of regulation, the Memphis Grizzlies outscored the Golden State Warriors 123-95, easily winning the game.
During the post-game interviews, Brooks revealed his continued displeasure of Iguodala.
Via NBC Sports:
“We all had the vision,” Brooks told reporters in Memphis after the game. “He didn’t, which is perfect. Send him back to the Warriors and let him do his thing over there.”
What will be the result of this NBA beef?
Will they look back at it in a few years and all parties will be forgiven, like what happened with the Boston Celtics, or will the dispute carry on?
We’ll have to wait and see.
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