- Andre Iguodala said he is playing through injuries in the Finals for Stephen Curry.
- Iguodala told reporters that Curry is a “good dude” who he likes to be around and said he wants to protect Curry’s legacy from “backlash” from “peers.”
- It’s unclear if Iguodala meant other players or media try to diminish Curry’s accomplishments, but there have been rumours that other players had a “disdain” for Curry because of his success.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Andre Iguodala was the hero for the Golden State Warriors in Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Sunday, hitting the dagger three-pointer to put the Warriors up five with seven seconds left. The Warriors won the game and evened the series at 1-1.
Iguodala has been playing through a calf injury severe enough that he had to get an MRI after Game 1. On Sunday, Iguodala also took a shot to the head from the Toronto Raptors’ Marc Gasol on a screen and briefly left the game.
After the win, Iguodala was asked what motivates him to continue to play through the pain, particularly amid a fifth straight Finals run. Iguodala gave a surprising answer about wanting to play for Stephen Curry.
“I like Steph,” Iguodala said. “He’s a good dude, good guy to be around. That’s really the only reason why I like playing basketball. That’s the only reason why I play.”
Iguodala said he wanted to defend Curry’s legacy because there are “peers” who criticise Curry and are jealous of his accomplishments.
“I’ve never seen it in a person, such a good person ever get some backlash or whatever from his peers because they’re so jealous of what he has. So, just kind of sticking it to them,” Iguodala said. “Whatever it takes to protect his legacy, I’m all for it.”
Watch Iguodala’s answer below:
"I like Steph. He’s a good dude. … I’m trying to do whatever it takes to protect his legacy. I’m all for it."
–Andre Iguodala on what motivates him to play hurt pic.twitter.com/ncwfVr3Df6
— ESPN (@espn) June 3, 2019
It’s unclear if Iguodala was referring to other players or perhaps the media. (It’s also unclear if Iguodala was entirely serious). Curry had been criticised early in the playoffs for some offensive struggles but turned things around dramatically with some excellent play.
In 2017, Marcus Thompson of The Athletic, who wrote the book “Golden” about Curry, said that some of the NBA’s top players had “disdain” for Curry. Thompson said some of it was because of Curry’s rapid ascent to NBA stardom and a belief that he is not criticised as frequently as other stars. Thompson said Curry did not understand the criticism.
Iguodala has spoken up in Curry’s favour this postseason. He called him the second greatest point guard ever during the Western Conference Finals.
Whether Iguodala was referring to other NBA players or media members belittling Curry’s achievements, if Curry and the Warriors win the Finals, Curry will boast an all-time great resume that only has a chance to get stronger.
- Read more NBA Finals coverage:
- The Raptors used a high-school-style defence to slow down the Warriors, and it could become pivotal in crucial Game 3
- Draymond Green explained how he lost 25 pounds in 2 months and why it gave him a mental edge for the playoffs
- Jimmy Kimmel has Kevin Durant, Joel Embiid, and other NBA stars read mean tweets about themselves
- How the Warriors built one of the NBA’s all-time greatest dynasties with timing, foresight, and a lot of luck
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.