Warriors

Erik Spoelstra credits Andre Iguodala's Warriors tenure for NBA esteem

Erik Spoelstra credits Andre Iguodala's Warriors tenure for NBA esteem

Andre Iguodala's Warriors tenure couldn't have worked out much better, as the talented wing was an integral part of three championship-winning teams and won the 2015 NBA Finals MVP.

The 36-year-old was traded to Memphis last offseason, but Iguodala eventually found himself in Miami after a deadline deal with the Heat.

Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra was asked about Iguodala's impact on the organization during his first five months with the Heat, and the two-time champion's answer spoke volumes about how Iguodala's perception in the NBA has been shaped by his time with the Warriors.

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He wasn't an original member of the Warriors' roster, but his acquisition helped mark a turning point that saw the Warriors go from a middle-of-the-pack Western Conference team to a bona fide NBA Finals contender year in and year out. Unselfishness and versatility enabled Iguodala to captain the Warriors' second unit into one of the league's best, while simultaneously bringing valuable clutch minutes night in and night out alongside the Splash Brothers and Draymond Green when the game was on the line.

"You can talk about it in sports, how I came in as a rookie, kind of paid my dues," Iguodala said to Forbes Magazine about his background in leadership. "Kind of like being an intern, you just work your way through the ranks, doing it the right way, having the respect for anyone, whether someone is above you or below you, just having that human level of respect.

"I think the main thing in leadership is trying to get the most out of those beneath you, seeing their potential and helping them maximize their potential, finding out who they are as a person, finding out what makes them tick."

[RELATED: Warriors Ultimate Draft: Best Dubs of last 30 years, Part 1]

Even when NBA stars like Kevin Durant joined the fold in Golden State (at Iguodala's position no less), they took lessons to heart from competing every day with him.

"I learned a lot from watching guys like Andre Iguodala -- how he used his hands in the paint when guys were going up to shoot," KD said on a recent Instagram Live.

Warriors general manager Bob Myers didn't come away empty-handed from the Iguodala transaction, as Golden State wound up with a valuable $17.2 million trade exception. This leaves the Warriors with a chance to add a solid contributor in a trade this offseason.

Golden State showered Iguodala with love when he returned to Chase Center this season with the Heat, and he'll forever be an iconic figure in Warriors lore.

Damian Lillard matches Steph Curry in impressive 3-point shooting stat

Damian Lillard matches Steph Curry in impressive 3-point shooting stat

There has been an abundance of comparisons between Steph Curry and Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard as of late, most of which are prisoner-of-the-moment takes based in ignorance.

Yes, Lillard has been absolutely incredible during the NBA restart in leading the Trail Blazers to the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.

No, he has not surpassed Curry as the best point guard in the game.

That said, Lillard arguably is closing the gap. And now, he has done something that no player other than Curry has accomplished in NBA history.

Lillard ended the regular season Thursday having shot 40.1 percent from 3-point range on 10.1 3-point attempts per game, becoming just the second player in league history to post that kind of efficiency on such high volume. Curry, of course, is the other, and he has done it twice.

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In his unanimous MVP season in 2015-16, Curry shot a ridiculous 45.4 percent from long distance on 11.2 3-point attempts per game. Then, in 2018-19, he made 43.7 percent of his 11.7 3-point attempts per contest.

And he just barely missed accomplishing the feat a third time.

In 2016-17, Curry shot 41.1 percent from 3-point land, but didn't attempt enough 3s to qualify.

He literally was one attempt short.

[RELATED: Steph, Dame deserve better than these ridiculous debates]

So, technically, Lillard will only have to do it once more to match Curry. 

That is, unless Curry reminds everyone next season why he's the greatest shooter in NBA history.

Damian Lillard, Oakland native, gets Twitter shoutout from Raiders

Damian Lillard, Oakland native, gets Twitter shoutout from Raiders

The Portland Trail Blazers outlasted the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night to earn a spot in the Western Conference play-in tournament.

Shortly thereafter, the Las Vegas Raiders showed Oakland native Damian Lillard some love on Twitter.

The shoutout was much deserved, as Dame averaged 51.3 points and 9.0 assists over the Blazers' final three seeding games, while shooting better than 56 percent overall and nearly 49 percent from deep (on 14.3 attempts).

Those numbers never will seem real.

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Although Lillard let it be known years back that he was not happy with the Raiders for leaving Oakland, he still roots for the Silver and Black.

[RELATED: Bill Simmons wonders if Dame is better than Steph right now]

Dame -- who went to Oakland High School his junior and senior years -- also made it clear last November he did not support the Warriors moving from Oakland to San Francisco.

The five-time NBA All-Star will be back in action Saturday at 11:30 a.m. PT, as the No. 8 seed Blazers face off against the No. 9 seed Memphis Grizzlies.

If the Blazers win, they advance to the first round of the playoffs to take on Los Angeles Lakers. If the Grizzlies win, then Memphis and Portland will do battle again on Sunday to determine who will play the Lakers.

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