Andre Iguodala and George Karl are not the best of friends.
They have a beef that dates back to Iguodala’s time in Denver in the 2012-13 season. In the playoffs that season, the Nuggets came up against an ascending Warriors team after losing Danilo Gallinari and Timofey Mozgov and lost 4-2 to Golden State.
Iguodala averaged 18 points (50 percent from the field, 48 percent from beyond the arc), 8 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2 steals per game in those six games.
During that series, the Nuggets were physical with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Then-Warriors head coach Mark Jackson made it known that he was upset with the approach and aware of its intent, citing, or pointing to knowledge from an anonymous Nuggets player:
I got inside information that some people don’t like that brand of basketball and they clearly didn’t co-sign it. They wanted to let me know they have no parts in what was taking place. Let the best team win. And let everybody, with the exception of going down with a freak injury, let everybody leave out of here healthy. That’s not good basketball.
Iguodala opted out of his contract with Denver and was sent to Golden State in a trade the following offseason.
George Karl was none too pleased, and made it known he thought Iguodala was a mole. There was also a report from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Rusty Simmons quoting Joe Lacob where he said that Iguodala’s cousin sat near Lacob during that series and made it known Iguodala wanted to be on the Warriors.
Karl said the following in an interview with Denver sportswriter Dave Krieger:
Q: Do you think Andre Iguodala was Mark Jackson’s “mole”?
A: No question.
Iguodala responded to the now decade-old accusations with Shannon Sharpe:
Iguodala said he didn’t appreciate Denver’s style of play, saying he prefers to “let the best man win,” rather than trying to rough up a star.
When he was confronted, he said, by Mark Jackson, he recalled telling him:
I’m like, ‘Coach, I don’t move like that.’
That was it.
‘I don’t play like that coach.’
He proceeded to rip Karl for not being able to adjust to the Warriors and for some quotes in his autobiography that Iguodala said were critical of Black players who grew up without fathers.
This quote from the book stands out:
Kenyon and Carmelo carried two big burdens: all that money and no father to show them how to act like a man. As you’ve read, I grew up in a safe suburban neighborhood, with both my parents. I had a second father in my college coach, the most moral, decent man I ever knew. And I never made enough money as a player to get confused about who I was. When I compare my background to Kenyon’s and Carmelo’s, it’s no wonder we had a few problems.
Iguodala criticized that, which he said he “didn’t take too kindly to,” and for his tactical failures against Golden State.
“George didn’t have an adjustment for them boys and them boys beat us,” Iguodala said. “And typical George, George is gone run with a narrative that he gone run away from what it was. You just got out coached, right. So then he looks for something else and he’s done it throughout his career.”
It’s clear there’s no love lost between the two.
If you’re wondering what Karl’s thoughts on the matter are, well, he’ll join KNBR live around 3:50 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. Click here to listen live.