Andre Iguodala has played 10 NBA seasons, and has appeared in 758 regular season games — starting in every last one of them.
But due to a combination of circumstances, that may be changing with the Warriors, at least in the early part of the upcoming season.
Golden State is thin at the backup point guard position, so much so that the team is somewhat desperate for playmakers on that second unit. That’s where Iguodala might come in, even though the lineup data shows that the drop-off when the other four starters performed with Harrison Barnes instead was beyond significant.
With Shaun Livingston injured, however, that appears to be the way the club is leaning. It will definitely be an adjustment for Iguodala, who recently spoke candidly on the subject.
Do you care if you start?: “Do I care? I don’t know. That’s a good question. I’m just playing ball. You try not to make a big deal out of it. I’ve been in the league for a really long time, and there a lot of stories about anything and little things. If my shoes are tied the wrong way, that can become a story. I’m trying not to make it a story this year, and I’m trying to win a championship.”
You had eight assists and zero turnovers off the bench: “I think it was just growing up and being smart about the situation. You could do the opposite and just kind of tank it to say that it’s wrong, but our whole focus with this team is to try to continue to improve and to make the most out of our unit. We have so much depth that there will be opportunities to get where everybody wants to be. That’s the main focus.”
Being in the starting lineup is a point of pride for players, and veterans never like dealing with the change of moving to a reserve role, no matter the reason.
Paul Pierce, for example, said all the right things when he went through a similar situation in Brooklyn last season, even though the look on his face while saying them told you that he wasn’t quite at peace with the decision.
Iguodala will do the same, and only time will tell if it’s the right move from a basketball standpoint.