Andre Igoudala further proves the NBA is a players league

NBA Golden State Warriors fans hold Andre Igoudala sign (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
NBA Golden State Warriors fans hold Andre Igoudala sign (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Andre Igoudala stirred up controversy when he refused to play for the Memphis Grizzlies; why there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that

Andre Igoudala is a former finals MVP who was a huge piece of the Golden State Warriors dynasty when it kickstarted in 2015. A 36-year-old veteran who has been in the league for 15 years, seems to be in his last stint as an NBA player. It seemed as if he was going to end his career with the Warriors, the place where he won his championship and finals MVP but was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies during the offseason.

This came as a surprise to many people but it seemed as if some comments he made about an injury he had, which criticized the way the Warriors dealt with his injury, caused them to trade him to the Grizzlies. Andre Igoudala claimed that the Warriors downplayed an injury he had in the 2018 playoffs, basically telling him he’s fine and to keep playing.

This report surfaced the same year it seemed that Kevin Durant was rushed back during the finals, which caused him to tear his Achilles and be forced to sit out this season. Whether Kevin Durant wanted to come back himself or not, it portrayed the Golden State Warriors and their medical staff in a negative light.

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Now we fast forward to Igoudala being traded to the Grizzlies which was a surprise to many people. The fact that he got traded wasn’t the surprise but sending him to a non-contender was the story here. Andre Igoudala made it known that with him being up there in age, he was going to spend the rest of his short career on a team that had championship aspirations.

The Grizzlies knew how Igoudala felt and also knew they were not a championship contender and still traded for him.

Approaching the trade deadline, Igoudala still did not suit up for the Grizzlies and that is when the report came out that he was either to be traded or not play at all this year. This caused controversy as people were claiming that Igoudala didn’t deserve this type of treatment because he wasn’t a star. Igoudala’s character was attacked because people wanted him to be a leader for this young Grizzlies team while also making $17 million.

Players on the Grizzlies such as Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks voiced their opinion, letting it be known that they could not wait to see Igoudala on another team so they can play against him.

These were statements made against the 15-year veteran, some of which have validity whiles others don’t. For starters, the Grizzlies knew Igoudala wasn’t going to play for them and still traded for him. Blaming Igoudala for not playing makes no sense because he let his intentions be known and the Grizzlies were fully aware of them while knowing they were not a contender.

People were upset with Igoudala for not mentoring the young Grizzlies team with potential. Andre Igoudala does not owe it to anyone to be a mentor. His goal is to try and help a contender win a championship and it isn’t his job to mentor young players. This isn’t a Vince Carter situation for the Hawks where it is quite obvious Carter cannot contribute as much as he used to, leaving him to a mentor role.

Igoudala, a former champion, feels he still has what it takes to contribute on a championship team, especially with those teams inquiring about him.

On the contrary, I absolutely love how the Grizzlies players handled this situation. Memphis is a team that has always played with intensity and fire and this further proves that. They are using this situation as fuel to play even harder and prove that they aren’t just a pushover. They are currently sitting 8th in the West and exceeding the expectations of almost everyone, even Andre Igoudala.

Are they championship contenders? No. Would Igoudala make them championship contenders? No. But it is fun to see them handling this situation with some fire and reacting to it by letting it motivate them to prove people wrong.

Now that the trade deadline has passed, Andre Igoudala is now a member of the Miami Heat, another team that has exceeded expectations this year. Many predicted he’d play for one of the Los Angeles teams, either the Lakers or the Clippers, but instead finds himself in South Beach.

This just goes to show how much of a players league the NBA is. Players can force themselves out of teams and it is the nature of the league. In this case, Andre Igoudala, a 15 year veteran on his last legs who still has value to contenders around the league, let it be known he wanted to play for a contender.

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The Heat may not be the contenders that the Lakers or Clippers are, but it is certainly a better situation in Miami than it is in Memphis, while also getting a healthy two-year, $30 million extension.