Dillon Brooks still doesn't like Andre Iguodala and he made that crystal clear after the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Warriors 123-95 at FedExForum on Monday night.
The Grizzlies improved to 53-23 on the season and they are 18-2 without All-Star Ja Morant this season. Memphis now has a five-game lead over the Warriors for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference and have the look of a team that can win the NBA title in June.
That possibility is something no one outside of Memphis -- including Iguodala -- saw coming in the summer of 2019 when the Warriors traded the 2015 NBA Finals MVP to the Grizzlies in a cost-cutting move.
Nearly three years later, Brooks and the upstart Grizzlies haven't forgotten that Iguodala never played a game for Memphis.
"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."
When Iguodala was traded to Memphis, there was an understanding that they would either buy out his contract or trade him to a contending team. But Brooks and Morant viewed it as Iguodala not wanting to play with them or be part of an up-and-coming team. Iguodala ended up sitting out the first few months of the 2019-20 season before being traded to the Miami Heat as part of a three-team deal that included the Minnesota Timberwolves. He would help the Heat reach the NBA Finals where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the bubble in Orlando, Fla.
In Feb. 2020, Iguodala told The Athletic's Sam Amick that he wasn't the one who said the Grizzlies weren't the right situation for him, saying that the idea was brought to him.
Three years after the trade, Brooks and the Grizzlies appear to be building something special in Memphis.
"From the beginning, we were growing a base, we had a base and we kept building and building and building and more guys got on the train and we were able to create something like this and keep building this dynasty and this program up to new heights," Brooks said Monday night. "Just an amazing feeling to see guys grow every single year. I've been here the longest so I'm just happy to see each player grow in their role and to try to exceed their role, which is amazing to see. I'm just happy I'm a part of this and happy I figured out how to stay here in Memphis."
Iguodala spent two years in Miami before re-signing with the Warriors this offseason on a minimum contract. Golden State got off to a hot start and his decision to come back to the Bay Area looked like the right one. But the Warriors have fallen on hard times while the Grizzlies have taken off.
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The Grizzlies and their fans still have animosity towards Iguodala, so much so that the crowd booed him when he checked into the game Monday and when he touched the basketball. The 38-year-old quickly quieted the crowd by hitting a wide-open 3-pointer on his first shot.
Iguodala has the hardware and the accolades, but Brooks and the Grizzlies have the swagger right now, and they might get the last laugh if they are able to get the job done and win the title this year without Iguodala.