Credit: AP Photo/Brandon Dill, Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Credit AP Photo/Brandon Dill, Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies traded for Andre Iguodala in the summer of 2019, mainly because they got a first-round pick from the Golden State Warriors and could flip Iguodala for even more assets. Memphis and Iguodala agreed for him not to join the team.

Player of the Game
De'Anthony  Melton
EFF
22
De'Anthony Melton
Points 21
Accuracy 8-13
Rebounds 6
Assists 2

Dillon Brooks and Ja Morant, who've helped make the Grizzlies surprisingly competitive, resented Iguodala not being a part of what was happening in Memphis. After all, he was under contract with the Grizzlies and not showing up.

"Andre Iguodala's a great player," Brooks said in February 2020, after the Grizzlies defeated the Pistons 96-82.

"I feel like he's doing the right thing for his career, but we don't really care," he added. "It's not a distraction at all. I laugh at that type of stuff."

Then Brooks got even more honest about how he felt about Iguodala.

"A guy that's on our team that doesn't want to be on our team. I can't wait 'til we find a way to trade him so we can play him and show him what really Memphis is about," Brooks said.

But the 26-year-old Canadian guard/forward still doesn't like the three-time NBA champion, and he made it very clear after the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Warriors 123-95 at FedExForum on Monday night.

"We all had the vision," Brooks told reporters in Memphis after the game. "He didn't, which is perfect. Send him back to the Warriors and let him do his thing over there."

When Iguodala was traded to Memphis, there was an understanding that they would either buy out his contract or trade him to a contending team. But Brooks and Morant viewed it as Iguodala not wanting to play with them or be part of an up-and-coming team.

Iguodala ended up sitting out the first few months of the 2019-20 season before being traded to the Miami Heat as part of a three-team deal that included the Minnesota Timberwolves. He would help the Heat reach the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the bubble in Orlando.

2-pointers this season

56%
26,3
Points made: 26,3
Accuracy: 55,9%
Place in standings: 22
Record max: 35
Record min: 12
Most made 2FGs: Andrew Wiggins

Iguodala spent two years in Miami before re-signing with the Warriors this offseason on a minimum contract. But the Warriors have fallen on hard times while the Grizzlies have taken off.

The Grizzlies and their fans still have animosity towards Iguodala, so much so that the crowd booed him when he checked into the game Monday and when he touched the basketball. The 38-year-old quickly quieted the crowd by hitting a wide-open 3-pointer on his first shot.

The Grizzlies improved to 53-23 on the season, and they are 18-2 without All-Star Ja Morant this season. Memphis now has a five-game lead over the Warriors for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference and have the look of a team that can win the NBA title in June.

For Golden State, the loss marked the first game Iguodala had played in seven weeks while dealing with a back injury. 

"I'm 38, and not too many people are 38 playing in the NBA," Iguodala said. "Just very fortunate to be able to get out there and help the guys. It's hard to speak on things when you're not out there fighting with the guys. Now I can dig into the guys a little bit."

The 18-year veteran scored 6 points, while also adding three rebounds and two assists. After the game, he shed some light on why the Warriors have been struggling defensively.

"I think we've been struggling defensively with kind of just our ball pressure, and we got bad habits with our fouling," Iguodala said.

"When we can't foul, we struggle with containing the ball. I think I just gave us kind of a blueprint of being in the right position, whether you're on the ball or off the ball. That's the reason why we've been giving up a shit-ton of points the last couple of weeks."

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Memphis Grizzlies
Golden State Warriors
47%
43/92
Field goals
41%
33/81
64
Rebounds
49
26
Assists
18
11
Steals
6
40%
12/30
3-pointers
31%
9/29
50%
31/62
2-pointers
46%
24/52

Best players

Desmond  Bane
22 PTS
7/15 FG
3/4 FT
Jordan  Poole
25 PTS
7/17 FG
8/8 FT
Memphis Grizzlies
Few players
9 REB
Jonathan  Kuminga
7 REB
6 DREB
1 OREB
Tyus  Jones
6 As
0 TO
26 MIN
Jonathan  Kuminga
4 As
3 TO
35 MIN
De'Anthony  Melton
22 EFF
75% 2P%
56% 3P%
Jordan  Poole
21 EFF
36% 2P%
50% 3P%