Is it a failure if Team USA doesn’t win gold?
Andre Iguodala: With the history of American basketball and how much we have dominated and how popular the players are, it’s hard to go home without the gold. But I think win, lose or draw, we came here, fought hard, gave a good effort and guys got a good experience out of it.
What is the the atmosphere here with Team USA compared to what you see in an NBA locker room?
AI: It’s all basketball. You just have a high concentration of talent on the USA team. You have the best players from the teams in the NBA. You just have great players in every area and the bench is loaded. There’s just a bit more competition, but everybody is good.
I read on the blog you are writing for the Philly paper that Doug Collins is texting you after the games. What does he tell you?
AI: Just words of encouragement. He’s really a guy who’s always by his players, from what I’ve heard. So far, it’s been right on point. He’s really done a great job of communicating with me back and forth and let me know he’s really excited about the season and looking forward to having me become a better player and helping the team become better as well.
You had a meeting with him a few months ago. What was that about?
AI: It was about laying everything on the line, airing concerns. If I had any concerns, if he had any concerns… Airing them out. You can hear things for certain guys. It’s better to sit face-to-face and get to know each other and just clear the air. It was a good meeting. We had a great meeting.
What kind of concerns you had?
AI: I didn’t really have any concerns with him. I heard he was a tough coach and that’s what we need. I welcome that.
There has been talk about how you and Evan Turner are going to fit in the team together. What are your thoughts about it?
AI: I can figure I can play basketball with anybody. On this team, I think I have been playing well and I don’t get the ball the way I do with the Sixers. So I think we’ll fit in well. We won’t have any problems. I’ll have the ball in my hands, he’ll have the ball in his hands a lot. We’re going to make the game easier for him. He’s going to contribute, hopefully right away.
Do you see yourself as a franchise player or more as a No. 2 guy?
AI: I think everybody on this team is part of unit. I think I’m the guy who needs to lead my team for us to be successful. When I play well, we play well. And who’s the franchise player for the Miami Heat? I think that gets too blown out of proportion. As long as we have a good team, everybody is going to be successful. It’s about winning. Hopefully moving forward the new coach helps us move in the right direction and become a better team.
You have played all the regular season games in five different seasons. What’s they key to that?
AI: Just offseason workouts. Just get my body ready for that. Bumps and bruises, it’s all about recovery. Being able to take those bumps, being able to take nagging injuries and still play through them. I take that as the big reason.
Are you more optimistic about this season than the previous season?
AI: I think I come into every season looking forward to our team being good. You don’t want to come into a season thinking that you’re really bad. I look forward to coming in and having our organization become one of the best teams in the league.
What does the team need to be good?
AI: Gotta lock in defensively. We have to communicate. Verbal communication is key. We have a lot of talent, but if we don’t communicate…