Andre Iguodala’s chiseled physique looks like a sketch on Stan Lee’s Marvel comics. His left arm has an inflamed tattoo with the letters “AI” on it. He stands at 6'6" and has a wingspan of almost seven feet.
But Andre’s best asset is not his physical appearance, it is his defense that makes him stand out from all the other small forwards in the NBA. His ability to read the minds of ball-handlers, intercept penetrations and then get a quick transition that usually ends with a tomahawk jam.
Five coaches in seven years, and a consistent piece of every Philadelphia trade rumor, somehow Andre for some people has not lived up to expectations.
Ever since he started playing basketball, when everybody emulated Michael Jordan, he patterned himself on Scottie Pippen—the mercurial Chicago Bulls point forward that plays very good defense and well-rounded offense.
When everybody loves to score, Andre loves to do everything.
Andre was drafted way back in 2004 as Philadelphia’s first-round and ninth overall pick. For two years, he enjoyed playing “Robin” to Allen Iverson. However, after Iverson’s departure, Andre had to carry most of the load and went through different roles throughout his career.
Doug Collins made him a better player. His coach made him understand that he doesn’t have to carry the team, he could just distribute the load and the team will move in one direction.
After Andre was traded to the Denver Nuggets, it presented a fresh start. He would be under George Karl’s system, which is tailor-made for him. A new city and a new promise…this would give him a chance to continue winning, but most of all, a chance to get a step closer to a championship.
Denver knows that getting Iguodala would give the Nuggets a fighting chance against all the powerhouse teams in the NBA. They recognized Andre as the best wing defender who could guard the likes of Kobe Bryant and Lebron James.
Iggy knows the pressure, and he is always up for the challenge.
On Andre Iguodala’s right arm, there is a tattoo of his hometown, Springfield, Illinois. It has a very clear message at the bottom: “The City is mine."
Somehow, Denver wouldn’t mind him calling the city his own.
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