Andre Iguodala Says 'I Never Stated That I Didn't Want to Play With' Grizzlies

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2020

PORTLAND, OREGON - FEBRUARY 09: Andre Iguodala #28 of the Miami Heat reacts in the fourth quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers during their game at Moda Center on February 09, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
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NBA veteran Andre Iguodala, who was traded to the Miami Heat before the trade deadline after never playing a game for the Memphis Grizzlies, told Sam Amick of The Athletic he never explicitly stated he didn't want to play for the Grizzlies.

"It was never—like I never approached anyone to say, 'Hey, this is not somewhere that I want to be, and I'm not going to show up,'" he said. "That never occurred. But that's never going to get put out there because, you know."

He added, "All I know is that I never stated that I wasn't going to play there, and I never stated that I didn't want to play with those guys. But I know that's public territory (where they reacted), and I can handle it, and that's why I never went out and said, 'You know, this person is a liar. That person's a liar.'"

Iguodala said the decision for him to sit out the entire season before the trade was a "mutual agreement" with the Grizzlies despite the public perception that Iguodala was holding out for a move to a contender and wouldn't play until that happened. 

That perception extended to some of the Grizzlies players, including Dillon Brooks and Ja Morant:

Those comments didn't sit well with Iguodala's former teammate with the Golden State Warriors, Steph Curry, who posted an image of Iggy holding a championship trophy—one of three he won with the Dubs—on his Instagram story:

Iguodala took the entire situation in stride. 

"Yeah, that's my guy," Iguodala said of Curry, laughing, per Amick. "I would do the same for him. But I understand the generation that we're in, and the new millenials we're dealing with, and how social media comes into play and how someone could feed that to a young guy and (it grows)."

Iguodala, 36, has had an excellent NBA career. Along with being a three-time champion, he was the 2014-15 Finals MVP, a 2011-12 All-Star and a 2013-14 first-team All-Defensive selection. And now, he has the chance to chase another title with the Heat (34-18), currently the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Grizzlies (27-26) have been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season and have a legitimate shot at reaching the postseason. But their timeline is different than that of Iguodala. A divorce made sense, and Iguodala contends that he wasn't the only one who recognized it. 

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