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Nuggets executive Masai Ujiri not happy with Andre Iguodala’s All-Defensive team snub

May 14, 2013, 10:47 PM EDT

Denver Nuggets' Iguodala drives past Golden State Warriors' Curry during their NBA Western Conference quarter-final basketball playoff in Denver

Andre Iguodala said politics were to blame for his being left off both the first and second All-Defensive teams this year.

The reigning Executive of the Year, Nuggets VP of basketball operations Masai Ujiri, took it a step further.

From Ben Hochman of the Denver Post:

“It’s mind-boggling to me,” Ujiri said in a statement to The Denver Post. “I mean, when the US Olympic team enlists a defensive stopper, there is no question who they choose – Andre Iguodala. Yet, for some reason he can’t be considered one of the top-10 defensive players in the NBA? It’s just shocking that he continues to be overlooked as a world-class defender in our league. I honestly thought he should be in the conversation for defensive player of the year, let alone first or even second team all-defense.”

There are three things that stand out here.

First, complaining about postseason awards is a little ridiculous, considering the voting processes in place for each. The man who won the Defensive Player of the Year award, Marc Gasol, didn’t even make the first team All-Defense. Why? Different groups are in charge of determining the different honors — media votes for the single player award, and the coaches voted for the All-Defensive teams.

Second, let me know the next time a team executive comes out and says that one of his players didn’t deserve something they were awarded, because it’ll be the first. Of course Ujiri is going to back his player here, especially after Iguodala publicly expressed frustration at being snubbed.

Finally, and perhaps of most interest is the fact that Iguodala is more than likely to opt out of a player option he has for next season, which would make him an unrestricted free agent. If he’s as valuable to the Nuggets defensively as Ujiri intimates, it doesn’t seem wise to talk him up publicly like this, when the end result could be Iguodala’s price tag becoming too high for Denver to be able to match.

  1. eventhorizon04 - May 14, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    As for that last point, I was thinking that too.

    I understand it’s frustrating for Iguodala to be snubbed, but maybe the “snub” brings down his price on the free agent market, which would benefit the Nuggets since they want to keep him?

    I know it’s not much of a silver lining, but it’s something.

    • money2long - May 15, 2013 at 1:09 AM

      sorta the same thing, but i was thinking about something like this when pau gasol didn’t make the all star roster last season. the league knew the lakers were thinking of trading pau, and leaving him as a non all star wouldn’t help LA in a deal involving him potentially.

  2. melkipershero - May 14, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    My teams guy didnt make it. Therefor it was terrible.

    – Every teams fans/coaches/execs after these votings

  3. 4thquartermagic - May 14, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    Please, this has little to do with contract posturing by Masai.

    His point is a valid one. Iggy went to the Olympics soley based on his defense.

    Denver will match anything short of a Joe Johnson-like contract for Iggys services.

    Say what you want about the Nuggets but the front office has shown in the past, they are committed to spending for a title shot.

  4. 303bengalguy - May 15, 2013 at 12:08 AM

    Easy there Brett… if he was asked a question what do you want him to do, avoid it? C’mon… and if anything he’s posturing to get Igoudala to see that he’s appreciated. which he very much is by both the team, and us, the fans who would absolutely love to have him back. Rather or not Ujiri speaks fondly of him isn’t going to up the ante in contract negotiations in this situation in particular. Don’t get too basic with the assumptions, there’s nothing wrong with showing love here when its not going to impact the dollars it’ll ultimately take to get him back.

    • cmehustle - May 15, 2013 at 7:16 AM

      Your a fool if you think all defensive or all nba teams dont impact roster negotiations. Or maybe you never had to negotiate for your salary. You use anything in your favor to negotiate more money. ANYTHING! The fact that he did not make the team, I would guess but that might cost him a few mil at the minimum.

  5. kavika6 - May 15, 2013 at 7:43 AM

    Disagreeing with awards voted on by the media is easy since it’s just a popularity contest, but although Tim Duncan got snubbed for first-team and Chandler is a joke I have to give respect to what the coaches say.

  6. rayburns - May 15, 2013 at 9:25 AM

    Boy, it would have been nice to have some stats to back up whether or not there was a valid point to the complaint about being snubbed, but that would have ruined a perfectly good piece of snark, wouldn’t it?

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