Miami Heat

Why Andre Iguodala wasn't ready for his time with Warriors to end

Why Andre Iguodala wasn't ready for his time with Warriors to end

In the days and weeks leading up to Kevin Durant officially becoming a free agent last summer, the Warriors were preparing for his departure.

And as Golden State owner Joe Lacob told Greg Papa on Monday night on Warriors Pregame Live: "We were hoping it was Brooklyn if [Durant] left. And the reason is that we knew that D'Angelo [Russell] was a possibility in a sign-and-trade. That was really our only possibility of getting something back with Kevin Durant leaving."

Unfortunately for the Warriors, they were forced to trade Andre Iguodala (along with a top-four protected 2024 first-round pick) in order to acquire Russell. They could have passed on D-Lo and kept the 2015 NBA Finals MVP, but that would have limited their flexibility to build out the roster beyond the 2019-20 season.

Iguodala told Ethan Strauss of The Athletic on Monday night that he was not ready for his time in a Dubs uniform to come to an end.

“I feel like we had something to prove again," he explained. "The way we played that Game 6 [against the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals]. We had the game, like, one or two possessions to push it to a Game 7.

"The way we played that night, Steph [Curry] was due for a big game. I had it going that night. We felt like we were going to run it back. We always felt like we had something to prove. And we felt like people didn’t respect us like they should.”

Iguodala has a point. Many people in the basketball world completely wrote the Warriors off last year when KD went down in Game 5 against the Houston Rockets. The Dubs responded by winning Game 6 on the road (Iguodala recorded 17 points, five steals and three assists) -- which is Steve Kerr's favorite game as the team's coach.

And despite going to the NBA Finals five straight years and capturing three championships along the way, there are those that still question the Dubs' legitimacy.

[RELATED: Igoudala reveals favorite memory from Dubs' dynastic run]

Yet with NBA TV ratings down this year and the prevailing narrative that it's been a "boring" season so far, perhaps the Warriors were a good thing for the league in general.

"I think they’re kind of missing what we brought to the table the last five years," Iguodala explained. "You know, people don’t know what they’re missing till it’s gone. They don’t appreciate it till it’s gone.

"But we always knew it was something special. As long as we were connected and the core was together we were in prime position to keep making runs at it.”

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Andre Iguodala reveals favorite memory from memorable Warriors tenure

Andre Iguodala reveals favorite memory from memorable Warriors tenure

The Warriors lost their third game in a row Monday, falling 113-101 to the Miami Heat at Chase Center.

But that wasn't the story.

Andre Iguodala, who was a key cog in the Warriors' run to five straight NBA Finals, made his return Monday as a member of the Heat. He was celebrated with a tribute video and a short speech from former teammate Klay Thompson. The 2015 NBA Finals MVP scored two points in the Heat's win, but they acquired him at the trade deadline from the Memphis Grizzlies for the impact they believe he will have in the postseason.

After the win over his old mates, Iguodala spoke with NBC Sports Bay Area's Kerith Burke on the surreal feeling of the entire night.

"It's pretty interesting," Iguodala said after the win. "We actually ran some plays that I would run -- [coach Erik Spoelstra] is pretty good at that. He got me a bucket running one of the plays that we would run normally. It's interesting, but seeing the young guys, seeing how they are developing -- Damion Lee shot the ball great tonight, seeing Jordan Poole progress and develop is good to see."

During his six seasons with the Warriors, Iguodala was part of a number of great moments, but one sticks out more than the rest.

"I think Steph's unanimous MVP," Iguodala told Burke. "That might be it. Steph's unanimous MVP was probably my favorite moment because people don't know the hard work he puts in. I think they know but they don't know. I think he was a little bit overlooked. Players across the league didn't quite respect him, but when they saw it, it was beautiful seeing like, 'Oh s--t, this guy is really, really good.' So that was beautiful seeing him humble the entire world and being a part of that."

[RELATED: Andre is confident Warriors will return to dynastic bully of old]

Many thought Iguodala eventually would return to the Warriors, but he signed an extension with the Heat upon the trade. However, he is open to a reunion, either on the court or in a different role at some point in the future.

"Oh, that's no doubt. That's a given," Iguodala said about wanting a relationship with the Warriors in the future. "I still talk to the video guys like every other day. I was talking to them this morning. I was talking to Draymond two days ago. Those relationships never end, so they continue until we're no longer here."

Iguodala's tenacious defense and clutch shooting helped the Warriors win three titles in five seasons. Now, he'll try to help bring a title back to South Beach.

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in dismal 113-101 loss vs. Heat

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in dismal 113-101 loss vs. Heat

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Warriors went all out for their pregame celebration of former pillar Andre Iguodala ahead of Monday's matchup against the Miami Heat. By the end of the night, it marked the only thing Golden State would celebrate as the Dubs lost 113-101 at Chase Center, marking their third straight defeat.

Aside from a third-quarter run, the undermanned Warriors looked uninspired much of the evening, failing to score even in the most basic offensive sets.

The loss marks the Warriors' last home game for more than a week as the All-Star break hits this weekend.

For now, here are the takeaways from a dismal performance.

Third-quarter run isn't enough

The Warriors started the night off horrid, shooting just 30 percent through the first 24 minutes, failing to find any continuity as the Heat took a 19-point lead into halftime. Miami's length caused Golden State to commit eight first-half turnovers and highlighted the need for scoring after the deadline departures of Glenn Robinson III, Alec Burks and D'Angelo Russell.

Those fortunes momentarily changed in the third quarter, as the Warriors outscored Miami 32-21 during a furious run, cutting Miami's lead to six along the way. Damion Lee scored 11 of his 26 in the period as the Warriors held Miami to 37 percent from the field.

However, Miami took charge in the fourth, building up an 18-point lead down the stretch to break a three-game losing streak. The game followed a normal script for the Golden State, in which they do just enough to lose.

Andrew Wiggins' up-and-down night

The knock on Wiggins entering his tenure in Golden State was his lack of motor in games. He showed that quality in the first half, making just one shot in 16 minutes and failing to make an impact as the Warriors went down big.

However, he showed life in the third quarter, scoring 14 of his 17 points in the frame to help the Dubs get back into the game. Still, he disappeared once again in the fourth quarter, taking just two shots as the Heat blew the game back open.

At the moment, Golden State's biggest challenge is keeping Wiggins consistently engaged. Time will tell if that goal actually will be met.

[RELATED: Andre welcomed back with open arms by Warriors]

Andre's return

The Warriors had little idea if they'd be able to welcome back Iguodala at the start of the season. The curiosity ended last week when he was acquired by the Heat via trade, setting the stage for Monday's celebration. Before the game, the Warriors showed a minute video on the jumbotron, followed by a speech by Klay Thompson at center court. Additionally, Iguodala's wife, Christina, and son Andre, Jr. were in attendance.

As for Iguodala's on-court play, it wasn't as festive, as he finished with just two points and five rebounds in 17 minutes. In most ways, it was similar to his regular-season outings in Golden State, serving as a reminder that 36-year-old's real value comes with his postseason presence.

But Iguodala's imprint on his former franchise was more than recognized Monday evening and for good reason. His arrival in 2013 helped bring the Warriors to championship heights. Now, he looks to do the same in South Beach.