Andre Iguodala explains what ‘Heat Culture’ is
Iguodala understood the love guys like Heat lifer Udonis Haslem had for the franchise and the city, and he also knew the kind of culture Pat Riley had cultivated in South Beach.
But the veteran Iguodala stated “Heat Culture” really begins with how the organization develops young players on the roster (via Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald):
“As a young player coming here, you talk about player development, you talk about learning how to be a professional basketball player and what that actually means,” Iguodala said. “They set the bar in terms of how do you get a young guy to understand focus, film, studying, working on your game, keeping your strengths tight, then taking your weaknesses and turning those into strengths as well. You’re seeing guys like a guy like Udonis Haslem, how long his career has been. You see Pat Riley and you read his book ‘The Winner Within,’ which I read about five or six years ago so I had a pretty decent idea before I got here.”
Indeed, Miami’s youngsters have played a vital role in the team’s success.
Bam Adebayo became an All-Star in just his third season, racking up triple-doubles and giving the Heat an athletic monster on both ends of the floor.
Kendrick Nunn went from G-League prospect to potential Rookie of the Year candidate. Tyler Herro has given Miami shooting and offensive playmaking, while Duncan Robinson is having arguably the best catch-and-shoot season in NBA history.
Of course, the youngsters need mentors, and the Heat have exceptional veteran leaders in Iguodala, Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic, among others.
Miami will try to take a 3-0 series lead in their first-round matchup with the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.