Andre Iguodala was an NBA All-Star, All-Defensive player and Olympic gold medalist before he joined the Warriors in a 2013 sign-and-trade, but his career reached new heights with Golden State.
Iguodala made the All-Defensive First Team in his first season with the Warriors, won a championship and NBA Finals MVP in his second and added two more rings before his tenure in the Bay Area ended with a trade to the Memphis Grizzlies two summers ago.
Now, as a veteran leader on the Miami Heat, Iguodala uses his time with the Warriors as a teaching tool for his teammates.
"A lot of people want to hear about the Golden State years," Iguodala told Fox Sports' Melissa Rohlin for a lengthy feature story published Sunday.
"[They think] we just came to work everyday smiling and tossing the ball around and shooting some baskets and holding hands and it's all merry, but just letting them know that there's a lot of work that went into it, a lot of bumps and bruises along the way that I just embraced and got through. And once I had the opportunity to be in an environment that I thought I could thrive in, going through what I've been through, good and bad, it was just perfect timing and a perfect match."
Iguodala's defensive versatility, leadership and embrace of a role off the bench helped vault the Warriors into the NBA's pre-eminent contender from 2014 to '19. He was surrounded by more talent than at any point in his career, playing alongside the likes of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant, but Iguodala was nonetheless an essential part of Golden State's "Death Lineup" and "Hamptons 5."
Some scoffed at Warriors CEO Joe Lacob announcing Golden State intends to retire Iguodala's No. 9 at the end of his career, considering he averaged just 7.3 points per game in six seasons with the Warriors. If you ask his current and former colleagues, though, that kind of honor is more than deserved.
"I think people that really understand the game -- coaches and those types of people -- really understand that his contribution is so far beyond just the box score, it's incredible," Duncan Robinson, Iguodala's Heat teammate, told Rohlin. "It's hard to even describe. The things that he does throughout the game, if you're just watching casually, you'd have no idea. But he totally impacts winning on both sides of the ball and is the kind of guy you want to go to battle with."
Iguodala's veteran mentorship helped the Heat reach the NBA Finals season, and his career-changing time with the Warriors ensures his voice continues to carry as much weight -- if not more -- than his did with Golden State.