Doing pieces for The Sixer Sense I often find myself combing through the archives of 76ers history. The team itself dates back to 1946, but the 76ers themselves have only been around since ’63. You already know this.
During this time period many stars have put on the Sixers uniform, not only leaving their mark on the city, but the game of basketball as a whole. All-stars, Hall of Famers, game changers.
Now Andre Iguodala had only one All-Star appearance. He received it because for the first time in almost a decade the team was playing meaningful basketball. The thought process was probably that they had to give someone on the team the nod because the team was in first place.
Iggy made enough sense since at least a decent percentage of the basketball community had heard of him. However, he probably earned it on his own.
In the history of all time 76ers, a few stats may pop out at you:
5th in offensive rebounds – 1318
6th in steals – 851
8th all-time in games played – 668
8th in defensive rebounds – 2453
9th in field goal percentage – .503
In 2012 Iguodala posted 12.4 points per game, 6.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists. The scoring was down, but only because he finally had pieces around him that could contribute. In that same season he shot 45.4 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from three-point range.
How many times did we cringe when he hoisted it up from behind the arc, did we notice he almost had a 40 percent clip from beyond?
If we want to break down Iguodala down properly we have to put his career into two categories. The first is in the era of Iverson. Iggy spent the beginning third of his career in the shadow of the Hall of Fame player.
From 2004-2007 Iguodala had to be the second AI in town, which allowed him a roll that more suited his skill set. He wasn’t exactly a number two guy as much as he was a fantastic component to the machine. The man was averaging 19.9 points a game, with 5.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists in the 2007-08 season, so I guess I can understand why the Sixers felt he had star potential.
He even shot 71.2 percent from the free throw line. Still low, but for him, most would live with that. But to put the franchise on the man shoulders while failing to give him any support was foolish at best.
Take this time right now to think about the rosters of the 76ers in the post-Iverson era. How many could you name with out the help of Google?
Name recognition wise the person who stuck out would have to be Elton Brand. If the discussion was about sheer talent, it was more than likely Thaddeus Young.
Even then the organization stunted Young development by signing the aforementioned Brand. The 76ers treated Iguodala much like they treated Allen Iverson. They never gave him the right parts to really compete of titles. Unfortunately, Iguodala was far less talented and could not will them to wins like Ivserson once did.
So the city turned on him, naturally. The 76ers gave him large amounts of money because honestly who else were they going to give it too. Philadelphia wasn’t sexy, couldn’t bring and of the big names in. Iggy was on an island in the mecca of Basketball.
Fans got restless, fans got angry, fans wanted him gone. Iggy finished strong with the second-round showing in 2012. He had his revenge in a way.
I was almost positive he would miss those free-throws that eventually knocked the Bulls out of the playoffs at the end of the game. I feel I wasn’t the only one. But he hit them both, got up on the scores table and pretty much dropped an F-Bomb on the city. He should have anyway. I wouldn’t have blamed him.
The one thing I find fascinating is the disconnect between who athletes are and who we think they should be. Its almost video game logic. If the man is “x” good then he should receive “x” dollars. If the amount of dollars is disproportionate to the ability of the player, then that player needs to take a lower sum. The third party (fan base) is fine with the amount of production the player has since you are only paying him “x” dollars.
Meaning if the player is unable to reach the standards that the third party believes he or she has to obtain “x” dollars, then the third party has every right to mad at the first party (the player) for receiving “x” from the second party (the team).
Ok, maybe its more like algebra.
But the fact of the matter is the people that Philadelphia should of been mad with was the front office. They were the ones who thought he was worth that much. That he had so much talent that he could offset the mediocre free agent signings and draft picks that kept rolling in. Minus Holiday of course.
Was he suppose to refuse the money? Of course not. The 76ers said “here” and he signed his name. Should we be mad he took a deal any honest human would have done? Nope. He was just the man to come behind a Hall of Fame player, and Philadelphia was impatient. He was boo’d a lot more than he deserved.
Andre Iguodala’s history will have a warped perspective coming from Philadelphia. But we should appreciate what he contributed, because honestly it could of been a lot worse with out him. His numbers are actually pretty good and he may of deserved more than one all-star nod during his time.
But its okay, they appreciate him out in Golden State.