Andre Iguodala has been known as one of the smartest players in the NBA throughout his decorated 17-year career. It turns out he didn’t have much tolerance for those who didn’t see the game the same way.
In a terrific wide-ranging conversation between former Warriors center Andrew Bogut and The Athletic’s Ethan Strauss on the “House of Strauss” podcast, Bogut went into detail about Iguodala’s zero tolerance policy for teammates with “low basketball IQ” during his time with the Warriors.
“He was play basketball the right way at all costs,” Bogut said of Iguodala. “He could not stand the low IQ basketball players, to the point where it would be awkward because he’d be in them, or he’d go to management and be like ‘Get them the fuck out of here, they can’t fit in here.’ I get it to an extent because the way we played, a lot of the stuff we did was read and react. We had quick hitter plays and all that kind of stuff, but 40 of the 48 minutes we’re playing is that flow state. That read and react, that ‘Hey, when I go here you better have my back. When he comes off this this way, you better space this way.’ If you wouldn’t adapt to that, if you were from a system in high school or college where you were very regimented, where you needed to be told where to go and stand, you couldn’t play with us. And Andre, he would lose his shit.”
Iguodala’s ire wasn’t rooted in mean-spiritedness, but rather a demand for excellence on a team that so often achieved it. With the likes of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green all sharing the floor at the same time, the only thing that could defeat the Warriors was themselves, and Iguodala wasn’t going to let that happen.
“He wanted high IQ guys. He hated guys that had bad habits. Even we’d be up 30 and we’d put in our bench guys that don’t play much and they’d be fucking around, he’d lose his shit after the game. We’d win by 25 but he would lose it. He’d be like ‘You guys are going to have opportunities to get in games that are vital minutes and you guys are fucking around during garbage time, that’s unacceptable.’ Blunt and dry. As you know with Andre, sometimes guys don’t know if he’s joking, if he’s serious, and that’s the beauty of Andre Iguodala.
“That was just the method of his madness. That was just the way he went about things. There are people that motivate you directly, there’s people that do it subtly, there’s people that do it sarcastically. He was probably more that sarcastic side, of making you kind’ve feel like an idiot but also he’s kind’ve right as well. That was his way of doing things. I’ve got a lot of stories of guys that we had in training camp. After I left I heard stories of guys that he’s just like ‘You can’t play here, you need to get out of here.'”