Andre Iguodala and Steph Curry were teammates for six seasons and won three NBA championships together while becoming very close friends. But only recently did Iguodala grow a greater appreciation for his former and now-current teammate.
Since leaving the Warriors to play for the Miami Heat for the past two seasons, Iguodala had an opportunity to watch Steph play from afar, which allowed him to appreciate his ex-teammate even more than he already did.
“It’s funny because I didn't really get a chance to really appreciate certain things," Iguodala told NBC Sports Bay Area's Kerith Burke last week on Media Day. "I could appreciate Draymond [Green] because we were on the same wavelength on defense. I knew how impactful he was, how important he was, I knew how he thought [about] the game. You could say that he’s underrated because people don’t know what he does.
"But with somebody like Steph [Curry], I couldn't really see it because I was so locked in on what I was doing and so locked in on trying to make his life easier. Half the time, I couldn't see the shots and the things he was pulling off. I saw it, but I wasn't really living in the moment.”
“The last two years, I got the opportunity to [recognize] that this dude is really, really good. Also, it was like he was shutting up a lot of naysayers, saying he was by himself and can he be this elite when he’s ‘by himself?’ It was just awesome and wonderful to see.”
Curry is widely respected throughout the league, and it's hard to find a true basketball fan who doesn't appreciate his absurd talent.
Iguodala has notoriously come to Curry's defense in recent years, whether it be on social media or during interviews. Curry isn't as outspoken as other players in the league and isn't known for responding to criticism.
That's big brother Andre Iguodala's job.
“Obviously, we play golf a lot, and he’s further along the way in terms of the way he says and does things the right way," Iguodala said. "I can go off the rails a little bit. He’s like a little brother that I watch, and I'm like “OK, I need to do that a little more often.’ But at the same time, sometimes I just have to exude my confidence and be who I am, and hopefully, he takes from that. Sometimes you just got to let people know who you are, sometimes you need your ego.”
“He doesn’t like coming off as boisterous or bragging about himself, so sometimes you need your hype man. I got to remind him and other people that this is a different type of human being, and you’re going to respect him.”
Steph and his hype man will reunite this season, as Golden State looks to reclaim its spot near the top of the Western Conference standings.