Sportress of Blogitude

Andre Iguodala pushes back at critics amid standoff with Grizzlies

Andre Iguodala has defended his handling of the escalating, antagonistic situation between himself and the Memphis Grizzlies by arguing players are always targets for criticism when these kind of standoffs occur.

Iguodala has yet to play for the Grizzlies this season after the team acquired him in a salary-dump move by the Golden State Warriors. It quickly became clear that Iguodala had no intention of playing for the Grizzlies, and it appeared he and the team had at a minimum an informal understanding of where the other party stood.

Things have taken a nasty turn, however, in the days leading up to the trade deadline later this week, with Grizzlies players showing frustration and exhibiting anger over how Iguodala has spurned the team.

In light of all the animosity and drama, Iguodala recently pointed out to Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN that this comes down to him making a business decision, one that should not merit such a backlash.

“I think when the athlete takes control of his business, it’s looked at differently than when a so-called businessman is running his business,” Iguodala said. “A businessman says, ‘I want to make this play, because this is what I’m trying to do,’ and the response is, ‘Oh, that is a very smart business transaction,’ But when an athlete says, ‘This is what I prefer to do,’ the reaction is different.”

Iguodala’s indication that he will not play for the Grizzlies this season and the team’s refusal to buy him out leaves the parties at an untenable impasse. The only hope for a resolution that would leave both Iguodala and the team satisfied is if the Grizzlies could find a trade partner ahead of Thursday’s deadline. There seems to be some activity on that front, but time is quickly running out.

More broadly speaking, Iguodala’s argument that players are often cast as villains when such standoffs occur is a reasonable one. That being said, it’s hardly surprising there has been some pushback to Iguodala’s abandonment of the Grizzlies, regardless of the motivations or justifications behind his decision.