Denver was a 57-win team last season, but one that lost a star player to injury (Danilo Gallinari) then was bounced in the first round by Golden State. Still, after that success the upheaval they underwent this summer was a surprise — gone was the GM to Toronto, the coach was fired, and their biggest name player Andre Iguodala bolted via free agency for Golden State.
Except maybe the last part of that wasn’t such a surprise.
Warriors owner Joe Lacob sat down with the San Francisco Chronicle for an in depth Q&A that covers the plans for a new arena and the challenges there, changing the culture of the franchise and more.
Then he slipped in this about the Iguodala signing (hat tip Denver Stiffs).
“It’s interesting, during one of the playoff games in Denver, I was sitting on the floor. It turned out per chance, that one of his cousins was sitting behind us. We introduced and got to know him during the first game. When we came back for the second game, he made it pretty clear that Andre liked the Warriors, liked the organization. Obviously, I couldn’t talk about that at the time, but when he did become a free agent, I didn’t have to sell a lot. He was pretty sold. He sees how we do things, and the word gets out among the players.”
Nuggets fans will read this and see as a guy ready to bolt, a guy who committed a treasonous act during the playoffs. I get that.
To me, what this really shows is how things get done in the NBA — there is a river full of back channel communications like this and we occasionally hear a few drops of it.
Between agents, family members and entourages a lot of things get passed along to owners, GMs, coaches and other people around teams. When a guy is about to be a free agent, franchises where he wants to land get word — as happened here — that said player would love for the team to make an offer. In this case, I’d be surprised if Golden State was the only team told to make an offer — this is a business and Iguodala wanted to have options. Iguodala took a little less to go there. He really did want to be part of what is being built in the Bay Area.
Whatever that turns out to be.