What Iguodala told Wiggins in viral NBA Finals sideline chat


Last June, Warriors stars Andre Iguodala and Andrew Wiggins went viral during the 2022 NBA Finals -- but not for any on-court theatrics.

A sideline discussion between the two defensive-minded players racked up nearly six million views, as fans lauded Iguodala’s coaching chops and Wiggins’ willingness to learn.

So, what was Iguodala telling Wiggins as the Warriors battled it out in Game 3 against the Boston Celtics? It wasn’t clear -- until now. The scene showed Iguodala passionately waving Wiggins over to the sideline, slapping his hands together and shouting words of encouragement after a Jayson Tatum 3-pointer.

“That’s funny because [Wiggins] was doing the right thing,” Iguodala told Shannon Sharpe on the latest episode of the “Club Shay Shay” podcast. “So what happened was Wiggs showed that he’s one of the top defenders in this league in the playoffs, period. …

“So, we’re in the Finals, and whoever he’s guarding is giving him problems. Obviously, both teams scout; Boston is setting picks on him constantly. They’re trying to get him off Tatum.”

Iguodala explained that in Games 1 and 2, Wiggins was getting through the Celtics’ screens. But by Game 3, he had begun to accept the switch.

“I’m telling Wiggs, ‘Don’t get hit by no more picks,’” Iguodala told Sharpe. “And it’s two-sided, because Wiggs has four teammates on the court, too, that should be helping him not get hit. The communication might not have been there like it should have been.


“And I’m telling Wiggs, ‘All right, it’s not a two-way communication. It’s one way. There’s you, and there’s only you. Somebody sets a pick, run through him or go around him. Don’t accept switches, and it’s a compliment to how good of a defensive player you are.’

“That’s what I was trying to get him to see.”

Now in his 19th NBA season, Iguodala has guarded some of the best players in the NBA, from Carmelo Anthony to Kobe Bryant -- and the four-time champion has done it well.

Wiggins showed the same defensive prowess during the 2022 NBA playoffs and into the Finals as the best player on the court behind Steph Curry, guarding the likes of Tatum, Luka Dončić and Ja Morant. Throughout the Warriors' championship run, Wiggins averaged one steal and one block per game while grabbing 7.5 boards and dishing out 1.8 assists across the 22-game stretch.

Oh, and he also averaged 16.5 points.

Part of the 28-year-old’s success since joining the Warriors during the 2019-20 NBA season has come from seeking advice from Iguodala, the Golden State veteran said.

“I remember one of our first games against the [Los Angeles] Lakers early in the season, we played LeBron [James],” Iguodala said. “Wiggs pulled me to the side and he said, ‘What are some tips on guarding LeBron?’

“I said, ‘Oh, s--t, this is the type of player I like.’ A guy asks me questions, that means he’s listening. And from there, me and Wiggs have built this great rapport. That’s my guy and I always knew he was good, he just may not have been in the right situation.”

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There’s no denying Wiggins has flourished since arriving in the Bay via trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Iguodala, along with the rest of the Warriors, saw the forward’s potential right away and helped him develop into one of the best two-way players in the league. And last season, Wiggins proved he’s right where he belongs on his way to becoming a first-time NBA champion.

“For him to come in and do that, the talent was always there,” Iguodala said. “He’s just never been in a position to really play with real confidence and play real basketball.”

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