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Andre Iguodala says Sixers and its players taught him everything he needed to learn about the NBA

Andre Iguodala, Sixers, Grizzlies

Andre Iguodala will never forget his roots in the city of Philadelphia and his formative eight years with the 76ers. The now Memphis Grizzlies forward still has plenty of fondness for The City of Brotherly Love and how it taught him several lessons early in his NBA career, put through the ring of fire that is Philly sports and the consequent tough skin he had crafted over the course of his years there.

“It was hard sometimes, it was beautiful sometimes. The fans and press in Philadelphia are like the fans and press nowhere else. And that’s a good thing,” Iguodala said on his recent memoir: The Sixth Man (h/t Gordie Jones of Forbes). “None of us could stand it if the whole country was like that. I got to learn so much from the men I played with and under there. And I would never, ever trade a moment of that time for anything. It made me grow up, it taught me how to take care of my career and how to take care of myself. I will always be grateful for Philadelphia.”

Iguodala gave credit to several veterans, notably shooting guard Aaron McKie, which he called “one of my favorite teammates ever” and current Sixers general manager Elton Brand, a former No. 1 pick who offered financial advice which Iguodala has taken to heart — now known for his angel investments in tech and up-and-coming businesses.

The 35-year-old veteran didn’t achieve much glory in his time with the Sixers, but would later in his trek with the Golden State Warriors. Yet part of what made his former team so potent in leadership was his experience with winning and losing in Philly, lessons that will last him a lifetime.