Andre Iguodala Thanks Warriors, Fans for Support 'From the Bottom of My Heart'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2020

Teammates applaud during a video tribute to Miami Heat guard Andre Iguodala, foreground, before an NBA basketball game between the Golden State Warriors and the Heat in San Francisco, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Newly acquired Miami Heat wing Andre Iguodala thanked the Golden State Warriors and their fans before Miami's 113-101 road win over Golden State on Monday night.

The Warriors played a tribute video in honor of Iguodala's time with the organization, which led the 36-year-old veteran to say the following in a pregame speech, per ESPN's Nick Friedell:

"From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everybody that supported us, supported me my entire time here. It definitely feels like home every time. I just left, but it feels like home. Really appreciate you guys and appreciate you being loyal Bay Area fans. My brothers will be back in action, full squad next year, to wreak havoc on the league for 80 games. Love y'all."

Iguodala won three championships and the 2015 NBA Finals MVP award during his six seasons with the Warriors. Golden State dealt Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies during the offseason in what was essentially a salary dump.

Iggy never played a game for the Grizzlies and was traded to the Heat last week.

Monday's contest was only Iguodala's second game of the season, so he was used sparingly. In 17 minutes off the bench, Iguodala finished with two points, five rebounds and two assists. He also had a plus-25 rating, which was the second-best mark on the team.

Iguodala received a warm welcome from the crowd at Chase Center in San Francisco ahead of his first game against his former team. Injured Warriors guard Klay Thompson (torn ACL) praised Iguodala in a pregame speech as well:

"Obviously, it's a special night for Dub Nation. We've got one of the greatest Warriors in the history of the organization back. We call him the Swiss Army knife. One of my favorite teammates of all time. He made me, Steph [Curry], Draymond [Green] and [Kevon] Looney's job much easier, as well as Coach [Steve] Kerr and all the coaching staff. So we're indebted to this man for what he gave us. And it's good to have you back, Dre. And I can't wait to see your jersey in the rafters one of these days, bro."

While Iguodala wasn't always as celebrated as the likes of Curry, Thompson and Kevin Durant, he was a huge reason the Warriors reached the NBA Finals in five straight seasons and won three titles.

Iguodala was an All-Star before he joined the Warriors, and he averaged 17 or more points per game in four straight seasons from 2006-07 through 2009-10. In Golden State, Iggy never averaged more than 9.3 points per game.

Despite that, he was highly sought after on the trade market because of his ability to fill up the stat sheet, defensive effort and history of playoff success.

Upon acquiring him from the Grizzlies last Wednesday, the Heat reportedly signed Iguodala to a two-year, $30 million contract extension.

While the Warriors' championship window is closed for this season because of significant injuries suffered by Curry (broken hand) and Thompson, Iguodala is part of a Heat team with realistic title aspirations.

Miami is fourth in the Eastern Conference at 35-18, and Iguodala joins what was already a strong core led by All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, and includes Goran Dragic, Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro.