Andre Iguodala Believes in Second Chances, Tailoring
The former Sixers frontman is coming off the bench for the best team in basketball. And he’s never been happier.
Back in 2012, Andre Iguodala was the foundation of a young Philadelphia 76ers team that looked to be building towards something great. Then, in the blink of an eye, it was all over – Iguodala was shipped off to Denver and the Sixers have became historically bad, gambling big on drafting future stars. Instead of getting upset about being booted from the team that drafted him, Iguodala made the best of it, signing a four-year, $48 million deal with the Golden State Warriors in 2013 and becoming a central part of a young team on the rise. Yes, he’s spending a lot of time on the bench, but Andre understands that sometimes doing nothing is doing what it takes to win. On top of that, he’s begun to branch out into other ventures. Iguodala is now the Menswear Style Director at Twice, a secondhand e-commerce site that is building out its selection of men’s clothing. If you’re living in the Bay Area, you’ve got to work for a start-up.
Maxim spoke with Iguodala about coming off the bench, playing in Oakland, and his new gig.
What’s it like playing at Oracle Arena?
It’s great. We always say we have the best fans. When you go to other arenas on the road and then you come to ours you really see a big difference.
Do you ever get used to the sound level in the arena? You first played there as an opposing player, but do you ever get used to it as your home court?
It’s good and bad. It’s good because every game the fans are always into it and you just have a great home. The bad is that the other teams have a similar feeling — they feed off of it. I really always liked playing here.
Looking forward to the rest of the season, is everyone on the team thinking championship?
We all think we have the opportunity to try and do something special. We try to take it one game at a time. It’s a very long season. You’ve got to take care of business, of what’s right in front of you.
You were really the centerpiece of the Sixers and now you’re on a very good Warriors team but you’re coming off the bench. How does that change your mentality?
It doesn’t really change at all. Now you see teams who really need somebody off the bench or guys who may not have a starting role have a big role on the team. I was a big fan of Lamar Odom. When he played for the Lakers he was one of the best players in the league, not on the team but in the league. He didn’t start on his team. You’ve just got to get comfortable with yourself and your role.
You’ve been in the league a while now, especially compared to such a young team. Do you feel your role is that of a veteran where you give the other guys advice?
You’ve go to do that every year. That’s something that comes with the job, as you get older. I try and help the young guys out as much as possible. We have a good mix. We have a couple of veterans and we have guys right in the middle, and we don’t have as many rookies. So we do a good job collectively of holding each other accountable, discussing our issues off the court. We have a pretty good group as far as being open about being basketball players and some of the things that come with it off the court.
You were with the Sixers when they had a few good years and obviously you have a connection to Philly. What do you have to say to the Philly fans during this terrible stretch?
I think now in sports teams can go from bad to good a lot faster than they used to be able to. It used to be that it would take 6 to 7 years to turn things around. Now, the bad teams best-case scenario is that they’re trying to be like Oklahoma City, where they can get 2-3 draft picks that can turn things around quickly and then have a 7-8 year run with a lot of great talent. I’m pretty sure that’s what they’re trying to do and they’re trying to be smart about it. I think they don’t want to get caught in the middle. Being caught in the middle tends to be frowned upon in the NBA. If you’re always the 8th and 9th seed, you’re never quite in it for a championship run — no one wants to be there. They’d rather be at the top or be at the bottom so they could get to the top. I think that’s a lot of people’s mind frame right now.
What have you seen in terms of difference between your coach last year, Mark Jackson and you new coach, Steve Kerr?
I’m a fan of both guys. I’m a really big fan of Coach Jackson. He was a huge influence on me coming to this city and this team. He was great for this team as far as giving them confidence and helping them be pros, giving them a sense of going out there and knowing that they belong in the NBA and they could win on any given night. Anyone can have talent, but if you don’t have confidence then you’re not going to make it. I see that as Steph Curry is coming to his own. Klay Thomspon, too. I can say for sure but I know for a fact that Mark Jackson played a big role in helping those guys see their potential. I think Steve Kerr has done a great job of coming in and not making any drastic changes and letting guys do what they do best and just filling in the gaps and making us a much better team. A better team, I should say, not much better. Both guys have done their jobs to the best of their abilities and we’re just trying to move forward and the ultimate goal is to try and win championships.
You’ve had some nights where you’re just shooting lights out. When you go into one of those zones when you just can’t miss for like a quarter or a game, what’s going through your mind mentally?
You feel like you’re working out by yourself. It feels like your going through our workouts and you just had a long hour and a half workout where you’re not missing and you’re going through drills, posting up, shooting threes, working on your ball handling, you’re just by yourself and you can’t miss. The ball has a special feel to it.
What do you guys think you need to improve on when it comes to winning a championship?
We have to try to improve night in and night out. The type of offense we have gets better with time. One night when the set offense may not be going your way, we can stay away from it because we have so much talent and firepower offensively that you kind of stay away from it because we have the ability to go one on one and make shots. But in order for us to be a complete team and a better team, we’ve got to continue to go through the process of an offense even when it’s not working. Defensively, just continue to go after it. It’s a long season so you just have to be tough.
What’s Twice all about?
It’s an e-commerce site for second hand clothing. It’s kind of a mix between Amazon and eBay, where it’s easy to find clothing. They’ve done really well in the women’s section. They just launched their men’s side this past January. I’ll be working with them to put looks together, putting some of my old clothes on the site. All of the proceeds go to charity so we have some philanthropic endeavors within it as well.
Who’s been your biggest influence fashion-wise?
Fashion wise? My mom has always been really in tune to what she wears. She’s always had a keen eye for fashion. You know we had two sets of clothes. Clothes we go to school in and clothes we go to church in and then there were our play clothes. Whenever we had our good clothes on we couldn’t get them dirty. Our clothes had to be tucked in. That was always instilled in me at a young age. As I got older, you know, you watch guys who you looked up to and how they dressed at that time and you kind of develop your own unique style. You know there are a lot of entertainers and artists out there who I always watch like Pharell, but as I got older and then with the NBA dress code, I started seeing different guys put suits on. I’ve always been a fan of Sinatra. When you look at Frank Sinatra’s pictures, he never really changed with trends. If you look at the suits he had on in the sixties they look like they were tailored today. I’ve been a fan of the way he carried himself and the way he put a suit on.
Who’s the most stylish guy on The Warriors beside you?
Beside myself, we have a couple guys who try. Some succeed and some don’t. Steph does a really good job of just being himself. I see the guy as comfortable with what he has on. I see some guys who try a little too hard and it doesn’t look comfortable and it doesn’t look right. They’re trying to do too much. I like the way Steph Curry keeps it simple and you can tell that’s who he is. He’s not trying to be something else.
Photos by Getty