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Asking Out?

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Filed under, "this isn't going away", the story about Andre Iguodala missing (or skipping) his exit interview has popped back up. Bob Cooney stood by his initial report today in a chat session on Philly.com (and basically called Kate Fagan a mouthpiece for the team), and Tom Moore has gotten confirmation from Rod Thorn as well. Let's discuss.

Here's what we know: Andre Iguodala is currently out of the country and he still hasn't had an exit interview with the team. On the day he was supposed to have the exit interview, he showed up, talked to the media and dodged direct questions about whether he'd like to come back to Philadelphia next season, then did not meet with Rod Thorn, Ed Stefanski and Doug Collins, for whatever reason.

Thorn told Tom Moore it wasn't a big deal. Iguodala told Kate Fagan he was at a team doctor's appointment and hasn't been heard from since.

What does this all mean? Well, no one really knows for sure, but I'll tell you what I think it means. Andre has finally had enough of Philadelphia. If you look at how he's been treated by this town, it's kind of amazing that it's taken him this long to show any kind of sign that he'd like to be elsewhere. Consider the treatment he gets whenever his name is mentioned on Philly.com in the comment section. Consider that a beat writer today in a chat said, "...sometimes it looks like he'd be easy to replace," then later in that chat said the Sixers should trade him for Brandon Roy, his nonexistent knees and $68M contract. Consider that he's heckled just walking around town. Consider that a poll on Philly.com right now shows a higher percentage of voters think Spencer Hawes should be back with the Sixers next season (54.8%) than Iguodala (28.4%).

I almost have more respect for the uninformed fans who make statements like "He doesn't score enough for that contract," than I do for supposed experts who dance around the scoring issue and try to blame their dislike for Iguodala on nebulous things, like demeanor, when what they're really saying is that he doesn't score enough points-per-game. The common thread is devaluing everything Iguodala does well, and only focusing on the one thing he's never going to do, score in bunches.

Anyway, no matter what brought us to this point. If Iguodala did, in fact, skip his exit interview as a not-so-subtle message to Rod Thorn that he'd like to be traded, well that's inexcusable. The press and the fans turned on Iguodala long ago, but there are three guys who never really did, despite ample opportunity and enormous pressure: Doug Collins, Rod Thorn and Ed Stefanski. Those guys have publicly defended Iguodala countless times. If Iguodala wants out, and I honestly don't blame him if he does, then he needs to be a man about it and have a private conversation with Thorn to tell him. It's disappointing to think he's been such a stand-up guy for seven years and this is how he'd go about orchestrating an exit from Philly. Then again, maybe he has had that conversation. There's no way to know, at this point.

I think it's important to end with a word of warning to everyone who's reading this post and saying, "It's about time they got rid of that bum." You're probably the same people who have been swearing at him around town or blaming him for everything from Eddie Jordan's failure in Philly to global warming. If Andre is moved this summer, the points-per-game spotlight will immediately shift to Jrue Holiday and we'll probably be able to start the countdown to the day when he's driven to the point of not wanting to play in Philly anymore either. There's a very good chance Jrue is going to be an excellent point guard in this league. There's also a very good chance he'll never score 20 points-per-game. He'll do everything else, and he'll do it very well, but that won't be good enough, will it? A couple years down the road, the Sixers will extend Jrue at a fair price, then when you start comparing his PPG to his contract, well, we'll just play this game all over again. For his sake, I hope Jrue does turn into a legit number one scoring option, because it's looking more and more likely that he won't have Iguodala to shield him from the simple-minded masses for much longer.
by Brian on May 5 2011
Tags: Andre Iguodala | Basketball | Jrue Holiday | Sixers |