Golden State Warriors’ coach, Steve Kerr has declared that the National Basketball Association (NBA) club’s Nigerian-born star, Andre Iguodala deserves every bit of his $48m contract with the team.
While many observers are uncomfortable with the star’s wage bill with the former champions, Kerr has spoken out in defence of Iguodala, who scored 20 points in The Warriors’ NBA Finals-clinching Game 5 win over Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017.
It was the perfect way for the 2015 Finals MVP to enter free agency, and Kerr is not ready to forget those exploits in a hurry.
Though Iguodala truly appeared about to sign elsewhere, even jokingly telling Kerr and Warriors’ general manager, Bob Myers that he would sign with Sacramento Kings, he eventually signed a $48m guaranteed deal over three seasons.
Now 35, the ninth overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft is playing his best basketball in a couple of years, and some people believe he makes too much money.
Iguodala sustained a spider fracture in his left knee during Game 3 of last year’s Western Conference finals against the Rockets, and Warriors fell in the next two games.
The Dubs ultimately persevered and took Games 6 and 7, but Iguodala’s absence nearly cost them the championship, memories of which are still bright in Kerr’s mind, which he is now using to defend the star.
Kerr added to the debate by refuting insinuations that Iguodala is too old for what he is earning or that he overpaid at $16m per year, arguments which he insists are very wrong.
The Warriors’ tactician stressed: “Can you imagine us without him? No. He’s been worth every penny and more.
“Are we overpaying statistically? Probably. Are we overpaying in terms of his value on winning a championship? Hell, no.”
However, Iguodala is staying modest and humble over the matter, saying: “I don’t think about it like I’m proving anyone wrong.
“Because sometimes in sports, you get paid for what you’ve done before.
“I know plenty of guys who have outgrown their contracts but don’t get rewarded for it.
“Then they kind of taper off and people say they’re overpaid. But, in the grand scheme of the whole career, that’s what they should have got.”