Is The Perception Of Andre Iguodala Changing In Philadelphia?76ers, BREAKING NEWS, News Monday, May 21st, 2012
In the last ten years, can you think of an athlete that the city of Philadelphia has wanted to trade more than Andre Iguodala? Fans were more than ready to trade guys like Donovan McNabb of the Eagles, and Jeff Carter of the Flyers when their respective teams finally decided to move on from them, but neither of these two players (or any others) have come remotely close to the level of unpopularity that Andre Iguodala has managed to gain throughout his tenure with the 76ers.
For years, Iguodala has been able to do no right, and a great deal of wrong. The forward has received a ton of flak and hate from the fans over his game, with much of it being justified in my opinion.
For too long, the Arizona product has believed that he’s a much better player than he actually is, and he’s tried too hard to be something he’s not. Iguodala’s spent much of his career trying to prove that he can be a great a shooter, taking far too many outside shots and not making enough of an effort to use his freakish athleticism to attack the basket, and get the free-throw line.
Combine that flawed, frustrating offensive approach with his massive contract, and it’s the perfect recipe for an unpopular athlete that fans have been begging the Sixers to trade for the last five years.
However, over the last few weeks Iguodala has been playing some of the best basketball of his NBA career. He’s been instrumental towards his team’s efforts to shutdown key scorers Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls, and Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics. He hasn’t demanded the ball as much, and has let the team’s young talent (Jrue Holiday, Lou Williams, and Evan Turner) take over as the primary options on offense.
Best of all? He’s come through in big moments late in the game when his team’s needed him most. Iguodala already has made his mark on this playoff run several times, with his signature moments coming in the final seconds of Game 6 against the Bulls (storming down the court, getting to the line, and sinking both shots to give the Sixers their first trip to the second round in nearly a decade), and hitting a dagger of a three against the Celtics in Game 4 to deliver the knockout punch and complete his team’s miraculous comeback.
In light of his excellent performances in the playoffs, is the city’s opinion of Andre Iguodala starting to change?
Personally, I’ve been one of many who thought the team should have traded him years ago. And that belief hasn’t changed. I still believe the team would be better off shedding Iguodala and his contract, and pursuing a more dominating offensive superstar. I understand (and appreciate) what the former first-round pick brings to the table defensively, but it just isn’t what the Sixers need to be a serious contender every year. He’s played great during the playoff, but I can’t believe that after a handful of nice games, he’s permanently changed into a much better player. If anything, I think this coming offseason has got to be the year to trade him because his value will never be any higher.
However, I will admit that I’ve warmed up to him considerably in the last few weeks. I’m happy to see him succeed, and I’m even more curious to see what he could do if he was on one of the NBA’s elite teams, and not miscast as the go-to guy. He’s been, dare I say, fun to watch.
What are your feelings about Iguodala?
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