Andre Iguodala’s arrival in Golden State swung multiple NBA titles, but it almost never even happened in the first place.
The Miami Heat swingman appeared this week on JJ Redick’s “The Old Man and the Three” podcast. In the episode, Iguodala had a great story of how he nearly ended up with the Dallas Mavericks instead of the Warriors in 2013.
“I was actually gonna go with Dallas,” he said. “Dallas was the spot. I wanted to go to Dallas. Big fan of [owner] Mark [Cuban] … I know they wanna win. I like how they take care of their players who win championships.
“[But] Dwight Howard decides to stall everybody with what he was going to do,” Iguodala went on. “So Dwight helped me. No one knows that. Everyone knew he was going to Houston. But for some reason, he was like, ‘I’m gonna see Dallas.’ So Mark Cuban was like, ‘Yo, it’s a generational talent,” which Dwight is … They were like, ‘We gotta give Dwight the respect, and we gotta give him a meeting because now we’re on his list.'”
Iguodala then described how, while waiting for Howard to decide, the Warriors came up with a three-team sign-and-trade deal for him. Thus, Iguodala chose to go to Golden State instead.
The decision would ultimately have a massive impact on the NBA landscape. The Warriors went on to win three NBA championships with Iguodala as an indispensable component of their small-ball “Death Lineup.” He was also their most effective weapon against LeBron James in four straight Finals battles and took home the Finals MVP Award in 2015.
As for Dallas, they did not get Howard either, as the former Defensive Player of the Year did indeed sign with the Rockets instead. As such, this is probably the Mavs’ greatest what-if since this all-timer.