Sixers not bothered by Iguodala's comments
ORLANDO -- Andre Iguodala was a complex person and player during his eight years in Philadelphia.
He was not a fan favorite as people felt he was overpaid ($82 million for six years) to be just the fourth-leading scorer on a Sixers team that went to the Eastern Conference semifinals last season.
His personality often came across as elitist in the way he would separate himself from teammates whenever he would speak about the squad.
Still, the 2011-12 season was the most accomplished of Iguodala’s career in Philadelphia. He became an All-Star and made the deepest playoff run of his career by reaching Game 7 against Boston. He also made the Olympic team and won a gold medal.
But to hear Iguodala tell it, he didn’t enjoy his last few years in Philadelphia. In a recent CBS Sports article, Iguodala explained that last season was draining for him and that he differed greatly with head coach Doug Collins on his ability to shoot three-pointers in games (see story)
When asked about Iguodala’s comments, Collins took the high road.
“My feeling is I had a wonderful two years with ‘Dre,” Collins said. “I look back and I think he made me a better coach.
“The thing I feel great about is in the two years we were together, before I took the job I thought long and hard to talk to Jerry Colangelo and Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) about having ‘Dre on the world championship team, and what I thought he would bring to that team.
“Our first year, we were plus-14 wins and he was second-team All-Defense. Our next year, we go to the seventh game of the conference semifinals, and he makes the All-Star team and wins a gold medal. So I feel great about our time together.”
As a rookie, Evan Turner was thought to be unable to get along with Iguodala. Later, it was perceived the two players could not coexist on the court. Still, the third-year Sixer had his former teammate’s back.
“Everything is not going to be perfect,” Turner responded when asked if he knew of Iguodala’s displeasure. “I think ‘Dre, whether he was frustrated or not, he still came out and played every night. He played hurt. You can’t really knock his opinion. It is his opinion and I am not going to knock him for how he feels because that is a personal thing.
“At the end of the day, it is about what the team needs from you and what the coach asks you to do. In Andre’s defense, he always did both. Last year, he was an All-Star, won a gold medal and got us to the second round.”
How Iguodala handles his new situation in Denver remains to be seen, and the Sixers won’t have to wait too long to get a glimpse either as they host the Nuggets on Halloween night.