Andre Iguodala: "I'm looking for a breakout season"
Are you having fun in Europe? What do you think about the idea of having training camp in Barcelona?
Andre Iguodala: I think it’s a good idea for the league. We have to make the best of it. It’s tough coming from a different time zone, eight hours ahead and you come in and go to practice but in the end it’s good for the league, to get a fan base overseas and continue to grow worldwide. The main thing was coming to training camp and be focused on execution and how are we gonna get better as a team during the season. Getting in touch with European fans as well, it’s a different market for the league. We want to put on a show.
The Sixers picked the fourth year option on your contract this week. How do you feel about that?
AI: It feels very good. They want to continue to build with me and want me to become a better player and grow with this organization. I’m just looking to grow and get better every day.
Are you expecting a great third season, your first big one?
AI: Definitely. I’m looking for a breakout season. I gave a lot of highlights for the fans, but I have to expand my game as well. Creating a lot of things on defense as well. I want to become one of the best defenders in the league.
What have you been working on this summer and what will be your focus this season?
AI: Just working on my jump shot and my ballhandling. I shot a whole lot of shots every day. Also working out in the gym and getting stronger. I gained like 10 pounds actually and stayed with that weight because I wouldn’t want to lose my bounce. I worked on getting a lot of contact and getting to the free-throw line. All the superstars in the league – LeBron, Melo, Wade, Kobe, and all those guys – go a lot to the line a lot and that’s what I’ll try to do this year. Also being a lot more aggressive on offense, getting the ball, attacking the basket.
Last season, it was said chemistry wasn’t good. Was that exaggerated?
AI: I don’t know if it was exaggerated... Because for the team we have, for the players we have, we should make the playoffs. In a sense, it’s true. We have to build defensively first to become a better team.
You were the MVP of the last Rookie Game at the All-Star Weekend. Do you plan on playing on Sunday one day?
AI: Definitely. You know, it’s going to be in Las Vegas this year. I told myself I was gonna come back to the All-Star Weekend to play on Sunday. That’s why I’ve been working, but the main thing is helping the team win and getting to the playoffs this year.
Are you competing on Friday?
AI: No. No dunk contest this year. Last year was a good one and everybody got the chance to see what I can do, but after dunking off the backboard there’s not much more I can be creative with. There’s a lot of young talent out there in the league. Gerald Green from the Boston Celtics is my pick for this year’s contest. James White also has a lot of nice dunks. It’s gonna be exciting but I’ll just root for this guys, I’m not going to be in.
Do you still think about last season's dunk contest?
AI: I had a lot of fun with it. I should have won but Nate did a great job. We brought it back to another level as far as creativity and getting the fans involved.
Jordi Vila is a regular contributor to HoopsHype.com