Andre Iguodala’s former Heat teammate checked him for thinking Stephen Curry deserved 2015 Finals MVP over him

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Andre Iguodala may have been a controversial winner of NBA Finals MVP in 2015, but a talk he eventually had with Trevor Ariza, one of his former teammates on the Miami Heat, made him realize he actually did deserve the honor.

“I had a really good conversation with Trevor Ariza,” Iguodala said.

Iguodala was named Finals MVP for the Golden State Warriors when they won the title against the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games, though there are some who believe Stephen Curry should have been given the honor. Iguodala averaged 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game against the Cavs, while Curry put up 26.0 points, 5.2 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.8 steals per contest.

Curry would seem to have the statistical advantage, but Iguodala’s intangibles, especially as a defender, were enough to swing the award to him, at least according to Ariza, who had faced him many times while with the Houston Rockets before they teamed up in Miami.

“I don’t even care, yeah, Steph shoulda had mine,” Iguodala said of his Finals MVP. “I don’t really care. I think Steph shoulda had it. But then I’m talking to Trevor Ariza, and he is like, ‘Bro, you buggin’. Don’t ever say that ever again.’

“And once Trevor said that to me — he kind of checked me — he was like, ‘Yo, dog, we were in Houston, and we knew if you played well, y’all were gon’ beat us.’ But the average fan who argues with all our opinions every day, they don’t know what the best players in the world are saying. And when Trevor said that, he was like, ‘Dre, I’m in Houston, and we can’t get past y’all ’cause you.’

“I’m like, ‘Man, Steph was cooking.’ He was like, ‘No bro, if you’re having a good game, we can’t win.'”

Though Iguodala was named All-Defensive First Team just once in his 19 NBA seasons – with the Warriors for the 2013-14 campaign – his reputation as a defender and big-game player was well-established. In fact, it helped him make the 2012 U.S. Olympic team that won a gold medal, thanks to Kobe Bryant speaking up to recognize him as one of the best defensive players in the NBA.

Iguodala has won four NBA championships with the Warriors and played in the Finals seven times, including in 2020 with the Heat, who lost to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 39-year-old played 84 games over two seasons with Miami and averaged 4.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 0.8 steals per game. Ariza played for Miami during the 2020-21 campaign.

Curry eventually won NBA Finals MVP honors in 2022, when the Warriors won their fourth title in an eight-season span.

Iguodala played eight games for the Warriors last season, and his future in the NBA is currently unclear. He has played 1,231 regular season games for four teams and averaged 11.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

It is an impressive resume and certainly seems deserving of an honor such as NBA Finals MVP.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. His introduction to the business included the legendary Heat-Knicks rivalry from the 1990s.