Andre Iguodala addresses standoff with Grizzlies
Andre Iguodala addressed the recent standoff with his team, the Memphis Grizzlies, who cast him out at his request, reportedly telling he didn’t intend to be a part of the team at this point in his career.
The 16-year veteran cleared it up, saying it was never his intention to not play for the team, but rather letting them use him how he’d fit best.
“It’s never been, ‘I don’t want to be there,'” Iguodala told ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz. “It’s, ‘Let’s have the conversations in terms of what it looks like going forward. How can I be a value to you? How can you be a value to me? And then how can we make that happen?'”
Iguodala and the Grizzlies mutually agreed that remaining in the Bay Area was the most logical solution, preventing any injuries while the team fished out a potential trade.
As the deadline neared, a report surfaced, noting Iguodala intended to sit out the rest of the season if not dealt to one of his preferred teams. Third-year wing Dillon Brooks said that he “can’t wait” for the Grizzlies to trade him, with Rookie of the Year frontrunner Ja Morant and De’Anthony Melton seconding his word.
Iguodala has caught plenty of flack for “refusing” to play for the Grizzlies, despite being owed $17.2 million in 2019-20, but the three-time champion views it very differently.
“I think when the athlete takes control of his business, it’s looked at differently than when a so-called businessman is running his business,” said Iguodala. “A businessman says, ‘I want to make this play, because this is what I’m trying to do,’ and the response is, ‘Oh, that is a very smart business transaction,’ But when an athlete says, ‘This is what I prefer to do,’ the reaction is different.”
The Grizzlies have less than 36 hours before their shot to get something back for Iguodala expires. If he’s true to his word, that would be a whopping $17.2 million spent without him even traveling with the team or warming a seat on the bench.
The veteran Swiss army knife also said he wouldn’t take a penny less than what he’s owed in potential buyout negotiations, which makes Memphis more likely to keep him if no trade comes along.