Leave it to Andre Iguodala to find a way to twist the knife into Oklahoma City a little more.
“Now that we got KD, I can say it: They were the best team last year in the league in the playoffs,” he said during a Thursday interview with The Breakfast Club. “They were better than us. They were better than Cleveland. … They were the best team in the playoffs. They should’ve won a championship.”
Iguodala manages to include both the basic dig — it should have been yours — and a reminder that, “Oh yeah, your superstar plays in Oakland now.” Iguodala prefaces the statement with “now that we got KD” — like, if the Dubs hadn’t morphed into a basketball-swallowing super-menace, he would have kept quiet? Either Iggy is only comfortable praising other teams when he’s certain Golden State will lay waste to everything in the future, or, more sinisterly — knife: twist — he was worried that praising the Thunder earlier might have encouraged Durant to stick around for another shot.
Nearly two months later, we’re still talking about the Western Conference finals, and in the end, it’s probably that series — when Oklahoma City finally managed to make the Warriors look vulnerable — that we’ll remember most. Game 6, in particular, is looking steadily more important the further it gets in the rearview mirror: Golden State’s hard-fought 108–101 victory caused ripple effects across the league.
So what can we make of Iguodala saying that the Thunder should have won it all? It’s reasonable to conclude that it was intended as shade to the Cavaliers as much as it was praise for the Thunder. In Iguodala’s imagining, OKC comes first — with Golden State, not Cleveland, almost certainly as runner-up.
And then we have Iguodala’s other comments from the interview. There’s love for Kyrie and the Knicks(!), as well as discussion of his tech investments, transgender laws, and those unfortunate WNBA comments attributed to him earlier this year. (He denies making them.) Iguodala also managed to lob a couple of other grenades, mentioning (around the 7:20 mark) a player who was “terrible” and “horrible” throughout the season, but who became a thorn in the Warriors’ side every time the teams met. Iguodala declines to name the player, saying only that he was in the Western Conference and thus faced Golden State four times. He probably means J.J. Barea: There are other candidates — Danilo Gallinari, Will Barton, Jordan Clarkson, C.J. McCollum — but Barea’s stats suggest a fit. While Barea was a pale 10.9 PPG/4.1 APG/44.6 FG% through the season, he roared back with 18.5 PPG/6.0 APG/54.5 FG% in his appearances against the Warriors.
The lesson from all of this? Charlamagne Tha God might just be the next Adrian Wojnarowski.