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Warriors’ owner says Iguodala sent word during playoffs he liked Golden State

Nov 13, 2013, 10:57 AM EDT

Andre Iguodala AP

Denver was a 57-win team last season, but one that lost a star player to injury (Danilo Gallinari) then was bounced in the first round by Golden State. Still, after that success the upheaval they underwent this summer was a surprise — gone was the GM to Toronto, the coach was fired, and their biggest name player Andre Iguodala bolted via free agency for Golden State.

Except maybe the last part of that wasn’t such a surprise.

Warriors owner Joe Lacob sat down with the San Francisco Chronicle for an in depth Q&A that covers the plans for a new arena and the challenges there, changing the culture of the franchise and more.

Then he slipped in this about the Iguodala signing (hat tip Denver Stiffs).

“It’s interesting, during one of the playoff games in Denver, I was sitting on the floor. It turned out per chance, that one of his cousins was sitting behind us. We introduced and got to know him during the first game. When we came back for the second game, he made it pretty clear that Andre liked the Warriors, liked the organization. Obviously, I couldn’t talk about that at the time, but when he did become a free agent, I didn’t have to sell a lot. He was pretty sold. He sees how we do things, and the word gets out among the players.”

Nuggets fans will read this and see as a guy ready to bolt, a guy who committed a treasonous act during the playoffs. I get that.

To me, what this really shows is how things get done in the NBA — there is a river full of back channel communications like this and we occasionally hear a few drops of it.

Between agents, family members and entourages a lot of things get passed along to owners, GMs, coaches and other people around teams. When a guy is about to be a free agent, franchises where he wants to land get word — as happened here — that said player would love for the team to make an offer. In this case, I’d be surprised if Golden State was the only team told to make an offer — this is a business and Iguodala wanted to have options. Iguodala took a little less to go there. He really did want to be part of what is being built in the Bay Area.

Whatever that turns out to be.

  1. anhdazman - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Nothing wrong with a smart business decision. Look where Denver is at now. Lost their GM, Head Coach and on the brink of moving one of their star player in Faried. McGee’s injury might keep him around longer, but Denver is definitely trying to rebuild or reload after last year’s quick exit.

  2. azarkhan - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    Fortunately Denver fans no longer have to put up with that lousy Coach of the Year George Karl and his crummy .695 winning percentage. Welcome to the brave new world with Brian Shaw.

  3. mimaiheatdynasty - Nov 13, 2013 at 11:13 AM

    So I’m guessing Iggy is the one who told Mark Jackson that the Nuggets were trying to injure Steph Curry in that series.

  4. 00maltliquor - Nov 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    I don’t see what good can come of this story from Joe Lacob. What was the reason to even tell it? Shouldn’t that be sonething you keep to yourself? I’m sure this getting out is gonna piss Andre off just a little.

    • doubledown44 - Nov 13, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      I’m surprised that there is no mention in the story of the fact that Andre Iguodala agreed to a deal with the Kings and would have signed there had that team not pulled the offer. Lacob sort of makes it sound like Iguodala couldn’t wait to sign with the Warriors, but that obviously wasn’t the case.

  5. broncobeta - Nov 13, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    As a Nuggets fan, I can’t say I respect that at all. Thanks for having your head in the game, it was really apparent with shooting 40% from the line.

    It’s kinda like dating the girl you cheated on your girlfriend with. Can you really trust somebody like that? It’s whatever though, it was obvious (to me at least) from day one that Iggy was in Denver for one year.

    Defeat or not, I can’t wait to hear the chorus of boos when he returns.

    • zerole00 - Nov 13, 2013 at 5:10 PM

      I think you’ve got your analogies mixed up.

      “It’s kinda like dating the girl who cheated on her boyfriend with you”

      All the same, I’d tentatively agree. I don’t know if anyone was expecting the rebuild situation Denver’s going through, but if you’re a free agent you want to keep your options open (though during the playoffs is a lousy time).

      • broncobeta - Nov 15, 2013 at 2:40 PM

        Could you ever imagine Kevin Garnett doing this? Oh, hell no. He hates everyone who is not wearing his colors and I love that.

  6. eagles512 - Nov 13, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Iggy would have stayed if you didn’t fire a good coach and make bonehead front office decisions.

    • redbaronx - Nov 13, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      As a player, you see a guy like Karl get fired after a 57 win season and management pushing JaVale, and I bet most of them say “that team is bad news!”

      • broncobeta - Nov 13, 2013 at 2:19 PM

        He opted out way before Karl was fired. He was gonna go unless Josh Kroenke flew down to Miami, assassinated Pat Riley, zip tied LBJ, and forced him to play for the Nuggets.

      • redbaronx - Nov 13, 2013 at 10:36 PM

        @broncobeta – I’m just saying….players are going to avoid Denver if the perception is that management doesn’t know what it is doing.

      • broncobeta - Nov 15, 2013 at 2:43 PM

        @redbaronx – You’re totally right in that statement, they haven’t a clue so far.

        My point was just that Iggy was already out before the hailstorm hit Denver.

      • redbaronx - Nov 16, 2013 at 4:02 PM

        @broncobeta – Well, now Denver ownership / management can sit and reflect. They still have some pieces and Brian Shaw is a good coach, so not all is lost.

  7. mackcarrington - Nov 13, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    This is interesting. Where was all of the “back channel communication” that should have told the Lakers that Dwight Howard didn’t want to play for them?

    • 00maltliquor - Nov 14, 2013 at 1:39 AM

      The writing was on the wall plain as day. Didn’t need a back channel to tell us water is wet, most birds fly, and egg nogg comes out around the 4th quarter of the calender year.

    • Anoesis - Nov 14, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      Except Howard DID say he wanted to play for the Lakers. Obviously he lied like a dog, but Google his first presser in L.A. It’s full of nothing but how “happy” he was that he was in L.A. and going to continue the legacy of big men there, blah, blah, blah.

      Howard just wanted out of Orlando in any way possible. He had a year left on his deal and spending that year in a sunny location while he rehabbed and banked another $20 mil was just his idea of “happy.”

  8. pistolpete0903 - Nov 18, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    The NBA model is that of a sports bussiness. The employer (team owner, management) looks at his bottom line, the employee (player) looks out for his money, job satisfaction.
    Is there anything wrong with it?

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