The last time we saw Andre Iguodala on a basketball court, he dropped 22 points in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, as the Toronto Raptors closed out the Warriors at Oracle Arena.
The former Finals MVP was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies as Golden State dealt with the fallout from Kevin Durant’s departure to Brooklyn. After over half a season of simply refusing to report to the Grizzlies, Iguodala was flipped on the eve of the NBA trade deadline to the Miami Heat in a multi-player deal.
Iguodala spoke to the media for the first time as a member of the Heat on Friday, and expressed his excitement at joining a team firmly in the playoff mix in the Eastern Conference.
"I kind of got excited about basketball again," Iguodala told ESPN. "Playing with [the Warriors], we go to the Finals every year, and the media scrutiny behind every single move -- you get exhausted. You've had a good break, but then you kind of see where the game's trending, you don't know, it's like, 'Where do I fit in?' And it's kind of a blessing in disguise, like this is the perfect spot. I can do a lot of different things here. A lot of different things. It doesn't have to be just defense or just passing. Or just in the corners. It's going to be good.”
There were many rumors throughout the season that Iguodala desired a return to the team he captured three championships with, but the veteran pushed back on the fodder.
“That one just kept popping up, and I don't know where that one got legs,” Iguodala said of potentially returning to the Warriors. “That was interesting, but I think everybody just got kind of thrown off by surprise with this move, which I think sometimes is a blessing in disguise, you don't know what's coming, and then boom the right opportunity comes by, and I think this is the right move."
Miami plays Sunday night in Portland before a date with the Warriors at Chase Center on Monday, the first time Iguodala will be back in front of the Golden State crowd since that NBA Finals defeat.
Given the strong relationships he has maintained with his former teammates and coaches in the Bay Area, it’s hard to imagine Iguodala wouldn’t want to suit up and get at least a few minutes in.