Heat’s Andre Iguodala responds to criticism from Grizzlies’ Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks
Miami Heat newcomer Andre Iguodala barked back at his former “teammates” Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks of the Memphis Grizzlies, who were happy to welcome Justise Winslow in a trade for the veteran on Wednesday.
Brooks had been critical of Iguodala’s refusal of being with the team this season, noting he’ll be glad once he’s traded to show him what Memphis is all about.
While this was an energizing boost for the Grizzlies locker room, it only complicated matters for the front office, which now couldn’t even convince Iguodala to play out the rest of the season with them. Memphis eventually traded him to Miami for Winslow, though it could become a more complex deal including Oklahoma City Thunder forward Danilo Gallinari also going to the Heat.
As for Iguodala, he put the final dots on that paper, acknowledging Brooks, a third-year player, and Morant, a rookie, are not at a point in their careers where they would understand why a player would hold out of playing for a rebuilding team.
“You got to take everything with a grain of salt,” Iguodala told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “Rules shift from time to time across generations. There is a 10-15 year age difference. They don’t move how we move and the same wasn’t said about us when we were that age. ‘What are young guys doing now? What is respectful now?’ … It’s different.”
Despite rattling some cages prior to his trade, Iguodala took the classy way out by giving Morant his due props for the way he’s played this season — noting he looks at the NBA as a brotherhood instead of a competition.
“So, I don’t look at it as personal. I don’t know if it’s from them. But the only thing I will tell them is that I love them. Those are my guys. (DeMar) DeRozan said Lou Williams. He said, ‘Lou is my brother and he would give him his last dollar.’ I feel the same way about every player in this league. I felt the same way about those two guys. Ja is going to be Rookie of the Year and he is playing amazing basketball. I’ve been watching him this year even though I knew we’d never be teammates. This guy is a talent.”
Besides getting traded to a potential contender, Iguodala also secured a two-year, $30 million extension with the Heat, the second of those two years being a team option.
It seems like the 36-year-old veteran played his cards right after all.