Sunday, December 28, 2014

A Sixer on Hold (for Now)

LONDON - Andre Iguodala is only interested in one team for now - the U.S. Olympic squad. Questions about the Sixers, their offseason moves and his future?

A Sixer on Hold (for Now)

Andre Iguodala and his Olympic basketball teammates were mobbed in the Olympic Village. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson, PA)
Andre Iguodala and his Olympic basketball teammates were mobbed in the Olympic Village. (AP Photo/Dave Thompson, PA)

LONDON – Andre Iguodala is only interested in one team for now – the U.S. Olympic squad. Questions about the Sixers, their offseason moves and his future?

“That’s all a few months away,” Iguodala said during a Team USA press conference in the Olympic Park’s Main Press Center Friday morning. “I haven’t thought about it too much. I’ve been focusing on the USA team and the things I need to do to help the team reach the goal of getting the gold medal. I get texts every now and then. I’ll give it more thought when it’s all said and done and I get back.”

One thing that seems certain is that, when Iguodala does get back, he will still be a Sixer. Head coach Doug Collins made that abundantly clear when he met with reporters earlier this month.

Collins, himself a member of the 1972 Olympic team, pointed to Iguodala’s role on Team USA as proof of his stature among NBA players.

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Nevertheless, there is no mistaking who the rock stars are.

During the press conference, dozens of reporters swarmed LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, who took seats on a stage at the front of the largest conference room in the MPC. Iguodala shared a small riser at the back of the room with Kevin Love.

The day before, Iguodala and his teammates were mobbed during a visit to the Athletes Village.

“It was like being at a mall back at home, but it was all athletes,” Iguodala said. “There were a lot of autographs and pictures being taken. It was weird, the crowd that we caused, especially being with LeBron and Kobe. As excited as they all were to see us, we were excited to interact with them.”

Iguodala wasn’t just being nice. He reeled off a list of athletes he got a chance to meet: Lolo Jones, Sanya Richards-Ross, sprinters Tyson Gay and Jeremy Wariner, and high jumper Brigetta Barret, a fellow product of the University of Arizona.

“I’m a huge sports fan,” Iguodala said. “I’m a track and field fan. A lot of the other athletes were surprised that I knew who they were. It will be really exciting to see them perform at the highest level.”

Iguodala is coming off a longer playoff run with the Sixers than usual and was nursing an Achilles tendon injury. He said he has felt fine physically despite the quick turnaround.

“It’s not too bad,” Iguodala said. “I don’t have as much of a load on myself with this team as I do with the team back in Philly. I’m a little bit fresher. I come in and play a little bit of defense, make an extra pass, kind of be the glue guy. So it’s not as bad.”

More on Iguodala – including his opportunities to represent Nigeria – in Saturday’s paper.

Phil Sheridan Inquirer Columnist
About this blog
Phil Sheridan has been covering pro and college sports in his hometown since 1985. He has been a columnist at the Inquirer since 2003, after a seven-year run as the paper's Eagles beat writer. Sheridan has covered eight Olympics, numerous Super Bowls and World Series, and has seen Guided By Voices and Wilco too many times to count. He lives, cooks and pursues the ultimate margarita blend in Langhorne. Reach Phil at psheridan@phillynews.com.

Phil Sheridan
Phil Sheridan Inquirer Columnist
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