If someone can talk about what it’s like to beat LeBron James in the playoffs that’s Andre Iguodala, who’s been on the winning side of the NBA Finals vs. the Kings three out of 4 times.
However, far from being confident, the former Finals MVP knows that you have to be almost perfect if you want to have a shot at containing LeBron, who’s going to drive you to be the version of yourself night in and night out at that stage:
“You just got to have that will, understanding you’re guarding the top talent ever. He’s going to make you pay when you make mistakes. You just try to play mistake-free basketball. Put him in vulnerable situations where you feel like you got the advantage, whether it’s a shot or a pass or where he is defensively,” Iguodala told the Undefeated.
Andre landed at South Beach midseason via trade from the Memphis Grizzlies and meshed perfectly with Erik Spoelstra’s group. He said that it was a match made in heaven because – prior to joining the Golden State Warriors – he was also used to being an underdog:
“We prepare better than anyone I’ve seen in terms of that grit, that grind and embracing. We just have that chip on our shoulder of hearing, ‘You’re not the most talented.’ So, we take that and say, ‘How do we get the most of the guys on our team and make everyone a weapon on both ends of the floor. (…) It’s the true essence of maximizing the team that you have. It’s a genius in the organization for strategically taking certain guys in certain situations and bringing them in to make that perfect fit,” he added.
Iguodala has made a habit out of making it to the NBA Finals. In fact, this will be his six straight trips to basketball’s ultimate stage after 5 consecutive Finals’ berths with the Golden State Warriors. Then again, he seems unfazed by that streak and is only focused on doing his job:
“I’m more so happy for the other guys. I was laughing after the game, like, ‘Yo, I’m going to another one.’ It’s hard to really feel like what everyone thinks you should feel being six in a row. I’m more so, ‘OK, cool, we have another one.’ I think I will appreciate it 10 years from now. Now, you’re still in the moment and have work to do. But at the same time, I think I’ve grown as a person in terms of what success really is. A championship may not mean the same to me as someone else. But I have an appreciation for it and I know how hard it is. My whole thing is getting success out of the situation or getting the most out of yourself. Winning a championship, that should be our goal,” Andre concluded.
There’s no doubt that once it’s all said and done, Iguodala will go down as one of the biggest winners of all time. His defense and timely scoring helped one of the biggest dynasties in basketball history make 5 Finals, win 3 rings, and even beat LeBron James.
Andre Iguodala calls LeBron James ‘the top talent ever’
“You just got to have that will, understanding you’re guarding the top talent ever. He’s going to make you pay when you make mistakes.”
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) September 28, 2020