Andre Iguodala Clarifies Comments on Warriors Training Staff, Kevin Durant

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2019

Golden State Warriors' Andre Iguodala in action during an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

One day after making some waves with his comments in regards to how the Golden State Warriors have handled injuries in recent years, Andre Iguodala clarified his remarks.

While talking to Mark Medina of the Mercury News, Iguodala made it clear that he did not believe there was any "internal pressure at all" as he worked his way back from a leg injury during the 2018 postseason:

"I don't think it was internal pressure at all. It had nothing to do with me. When you read an MRI, it can be read so many different ways. Even if I thought what it was or they thought what it was, we were all clear and on the same page. My leg was stable. In that area, even if you have a bruise or a fracture, it is very similar. People don't realize that. We were both on the same page that it was stable and that part of the body was fine to go play. Regardless of what I thought it was or what they thought it was or what anybody thought it was, we were all on the same page that I was good to go. It was a stable leg."

Iguodala missed six games late in last year's playoffs, including the first two games of the 2018 NBA Finals, with what was called a "bone bruise" publicly. However, the veteran revealed on The Breakfast Club on Tuesday that he had actually fractured his leg:

That revelation brought scrutiny upon Golden State's training staff, especially in the wake of Kevin Durant's Achilles injury.

Durant missed more than one month during the postseason with what the team called a calf injury. Upon his return in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, the two-time Finals MVP made it through just 12 minutes of action before going down with a non-contact injury. Durant was ultimately diagnosed with a ruptured Achilles, putting his 2019-20 season in jeopardy.

The injury immediately resulted in second-guessing, with some questioning just how serious Durant's initial was. Iguodala doesn't believe the Warriors' training staff is at fault, though, per Medina:

"From what I learned about the body is that I don’t think the two were connected personally with his injuries. When he goes down, I look at it as an act of God and a higher power that says, 'This is your journey and the course.' Of course, we as human beings, we try to have control over everything. We want to control the narrative. We want to put our opinions to everything and say we’re right about something and try to prove someone else wrong. Especially with our team and situation, someone is trying to knock us off a pedestal. Someone is trying to break us apart. I've said that many things throughout my career. This was actually something that was positive. But with this being with our team, it was turned into something negative. That was my take on KD’s thing. I don’t think he was pressured by anyone."

Iguodala was open and honest during his appearance on The Breakfast Club, but his message may have been misconstrued. Ultimately, he just wants people to realize that money doesn't eliminate the pressures professional athletes face:

“My point I was trying to make was these are the pressures athletes face mentally. When we go out there physically, we’re fine. We may have pain. With that stigma of 'Are you injured or are you hurt?', your reputation is made on things like that with big moments. They can say, 'He was afraid of the moment and he acted like he was hurt when he really wasn't.' It’s not from the organization. It was just the pressures of fan, media and family. All of that goes into play. People try to act like all the money we receive takes that away. Then you’re taking away the human element, correct. My whole point is there is a human element. We feel all of these pressures."

He added that "athletes sacrifice themselves to win a championship."

Iguodala was fortunate enough to be able to return to the court in time to help his team win a third title in four years during the 2018 Finals. Durant's situation had a drastically different outcome, making Iguodala's initial comments stand out.

Now, though, he has gone on the record to try to defend the Warriors' training staff.