Warriors

Andre Iguodala clarifies comments on injury, Kevin Durant's Achilles

Andre Iguodala clarifies comments on injury, Kevin Durant's Achilles

So here's what happened.

On Tuesday morning, Warriors forward Andre Iguodala was a guest on "The Breakfast Club" radio show in New York.

Charlamage tha God asked Iguodala if the Warriors should take any blame for Kevin Durant tearing his Achilles in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Raptors.

"So that's a really good question. I don't think his injury was the reason for the other injury," the 2015 NBA Finals MVP said. "The way the body is set up, the calf should have went out first before the Achilles.

"So that was like an act of God. The Achilles was just gonna go out no matter if he was injured before that or not."

So think the Warriors have any responsibility for maybe pushing KD out there too soon?

"That's the tough part, too. We have a really good training staff. Our traning staff is one of the best in the world," Iguodala said. "And I feel like they got him back. The tough thing is -- when you're an athlete and you're hurt, everybody's looking at you sideways.

"Last year, it happened to me. I missed the last three games of the Houston series. We barely get out of that series and now they're looking at me like, 'When you coming back?' And I had a fractured leg but it's being put out there like it's a bone bruise. I'm like, 'No, it's fractured.'

"So I'm fighting with the team, I'm fighting with people, I'm fighting with the media. And then my teammates ask me every day, 'How you feeling? How you feeling?' So with K, he's getting it from everywhere, too. Not just from the team, but from family or people close to him.

"And what do they always say in sports? 'Oh, he was a tough guy. He played through injury.' You're validated as an athlete if you win a championship for how tough you were. If you sit out, it's like, 'Oh, he's not tough.'"

Unsurprisingly, people started criticizing the Warriors' training staff for misdiagnosing Iguodala's injury last year. But that is not what happened.

On Wednesday, Iguodala set the record straight in a conversation with Mark Medina of the Bay Area News Group.

“I don’t think it was internal pressure at all,” Iguodala said of how the Warriors’ training staff handled his left leg injury. “It had nothing to do with me, When you read an MRI, it can be read so many different ways. Even if I thought what it was or they thought what it was, we were all clear and on the same page.

My leg was stable. In that area, even if you have a bruise or a fracture, it is very similar. People don’t realize that. We were both on the same page that it was stable and that part of the body was fine to go play. Regardless of what I thought it was or what they thought it was or what anybody thought it was, we were all on the same page that I was good to go. It was a stable leg.”

Durant significantly strained his right calf in Game 5 of the Warriors' NBA playoff second-round series against the Rockets. He missed the Dubs' next nine games before returning for Game 5 of The Finals in Toronto with the Warriors down three games to one.

“Athletes sacrifice themselves to win a championship," Iguodala told Medina. "Do you know how many guys would’ve killed themselves to win a championship? That’s the point I’m making and what I’m saying in the book -- the pressures of an athlete go much deeper than what people realize.

"They don’t see us as humans, sometimes. They’re missing that human element.”

As Durant wrote on Instagram following his surgery on June 12:

Basketball is my biggest love and I wanted to be out there that night because that’s what I do. I wanted to help my teammates on our quest for the three peat.

Its just the way things go in this game and I'm proud that I gave it all I physically could, and I'm proud my brothers got the W.

The main reason Iguodala's comments on The Breakfast Club gained steam was because Durant was involved.

Iguodala already discussed his 2018 "spider fracture" with BANG back in late September.

"The injury kind of bothered me because there was a lot going on behind closed doors that was bothering me. I hadn’t missed a playoff game my entire career. It isn’t about waiting around. I know what it was. A lot of people knew what it was. But I just went along with it.

Whatever you say it is, a bruise or whatever, I should be back day to day. But I know it wasn’t day to day. All right, cool. Players can fold under that type of scrutiny ... if I can’t talk to ya’ll, I’m isolated. That can do some damage to players. I’ve seen it firsthand. Guys fold and don’t attempt to come back. But I tried to keep the right mindset. I had the ‘whatever’ mentality where I don’t really care."

[RELATEDDurant, Warriors haven't had breakdown in trust, Woj says]

Lastly, as Medina noted Wednesday: "The Warriors have an internal policy that requires approval from the player and his representatives to approve on the wording of their respective injury."

So while it clearly was frustrating for Iguodala to have people question why he wasn't playing through a contusion/bone bruise, he was onboard with the public messaging.

OK. Enjoy the rest of your day.

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Steve Kerr explains why Warriors-Lakers rivalry doesn't really exist

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Steve Kerr explains why Warriors-Lakers rivalry doesn't really exist

LOS ANGELES -- Standing in the lobby of UCLA's Mo Ostin Center, Warriors coach Steve Kerr found himself in a unique scenario in his latest trip to Southern California. 

During his coaching tenure, he's won 80 percent of his games against the team he grew up rooting for, including 10 of the last 12 matchups. Now, in a trend Kerr knows all too well, his team seems to be declining as the Lakers are ascending, prompting a familiar question from the coach Wednesday afternoon.

"Have the Warriors and Lakers ever been up at the same time in the history of our league?"

The current iteration of each team's roster indicates the answer is a resounding "no." Four months ago, Los Angeles acquired all-star big man Anthony Davis, pairing him with LeBron James to form one of the league's best duos. Additionally, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka surrounded the core with two-way veterans like Avery Bradley and Danny Green. 

Meanwhile, Golden State's season remains in peril. No longer the prohibitive favorites to win the title, the Warriors have fallen from contention altogether. In five months, they have lost vital pieces, including Kevon Looney, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and superstar guard Steph Curry to injury. By Wednesday evening, Golden State could conceivably suit up just nine players at Staples Center. 

The current circumstances mirror the history between both teams. In four postseason matchups, the Lakers have never lost. When the Warriors won their first title on the West Coast in 1975, the Lakers failed to make the postseason. Twelve years later, when the teams played in the first round of the 1987 postseason, the top-seeded Lakers took care of the fifth-ranked Warriors in five games. Four years later, the eighth-seeded Warriors lost again in the first round in four games. 

Fast forward to 2015-2019, where the Warriors won three titles in five years while the Lakers were rebuilding, failing to reach the playoffs over that stretch. The course seemed to change 16 months ago, when superstar forward LeBron James signed with the team in free agency. Los Angeles responded by a 20-14 start, including a 127-101 Christmas Day drubbing of the Warriors at Oracle Arena. 

Then a groin injury -- suffered in the matchup against the Warriors -- sidelined James for much of the season. Adding to the peril, front office turmoil led to the resignation of Vice President Magic Johnson before the season finale and the eventual ousting of coach Luke Walton. 
 
"It looked to me like they were going to be pretty good," Kerr said. "And then they had their own challenges with injuries and other stuff."

Now, Lakers are on top. Following a victory Tuesday night in Phoenix, they're at the top of the Western Conference. Davis -- who isn't expected to play Wednesday night against Golden State -- is averaging 26.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game, while James continues to be one of the league's best players, solidifying one of the best cores in the league. 

"It's not surprising," Kerr admitted. "LeBron is one of the best passers in the history of the game. He's got Anthony to work with as a pick-and-pop guy, as a lob threat. You talk about two of the most talented players in the game and they both have great feels so it's not at all surprising."

[RELATED: Warriors must fix ugly defense to avoid hitting rock bottom]

Hope may be on the way for Golden State to balance the matchup going forward. Curry, Green and Thompson are all expected to be healthy by the start of next season, bringing back the core formidable enough to go against Los Angeles. 

"They've been good for a long time," Kerr said. "And they're good again and we're trying to get there."

Warriors coach very impressed with Eric Paschall in one specific area

Warriors coach very impressed with Eric Paschall in one specific area

Considering what the expectations were, Eric Paschall has been nothing short of fantastic so far this season.

The rookie is averaging 15.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, while shooting just under 53 percent from the field.

“His work ethic has been impressive from the jump,” Warriors assistant coach Theo Robertson -- who works closely with Paschall -- told Ethan Strauss of The Athletic. “His goal this season was to get on the floor and to this point he’s done everything necessary to facilitate that.

"We spend a ton of time watching film. I’ve been very impressed by his IQ. He’s been well-coached and sees the game.

"Moreover, his ability to apply concepts or teaching points immediately has been very impressive. He can execute a game plan and really understands the ‘why’ in a lot of things.”

Paschall -- who turned 23 years old last week -- spent five years in college, and greatly benefitted by playing for Villanova coach Jay Wright.

He constantly communicates on the defensive end and knows where to be.

As Strauss writes:

Synergy Sports grades Paschall out as “very good” on defense so far, which is tough to do on a Warriors team that’s putting up historically bad defensive efficiency numbers.

[RELATEDWhat Kerr wants Draymond to focus on offensively for Dubs]

Ultimately, it doesn't matter if Paschall starts or comes off the bench. He's going to play around 30 minutes per night.

But moving forward, hopefully we will get to see Paschall share the floor as much as possible with Draymond Green. Those two need to learn each other's tendencies and develop chemistry on both ends of the floor, and that can't happen when the rookie checks into the game for the three-time All-Star.

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