Andre Iguodala makes season debut for Heat vs. Blazers


PORTLAND — Nearly eight months after his last NBA game, the deciding Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals, Andre Iguodala made his 2019-20 debut Sunday night against the Portland Trail Blazers — three days after the Miami Heat acquired him in a deadline-day trade with the Memphis Grizzlies, who had agreed not to have Iguodala join the team this season pending a deal.

Iguodala entered late in the first quarter.

“The guy’s a freak. Six percent body fat and he’s been off that kind of time? He looks incredible,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said pregame. “That’s not basketball shape, we get it. So how do you get somebody in basketball shape? You play him in a basketball game, and you start that process. We didn’t bring him here just to hang out.”

The Heat traded guard Dion Waiters and forwards James Johnson and Justise Winslow on Thursday as part of a three-team deal that brought back forwards Iguodala, Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill from Memphis. All three players were inactive for Friday’s Miami loss at Sacramento, as the trade was being completed with physicals, but were able to participate in a practice Saturday in Portland.

“It was good that we were able to have practice yesterday,” Spoelstra said. “That’s not going to get everybody on the same page immediately, but we want to start this process right now. There’s been enough talk about why we brought them in. Now everybody’s ready just to get started. It will obviously be a big test for us tonight, but there’s no time like the present to get after it.”

On Friday, Iguodala said the trade had reinvigorated him.

“I kind of got excited about basketball again,” Iguodala told ESPN, when asked about how he fits with the Heat. “Playing with [the Golden State Warriors], we go to the Finals every year, and the media scrutiny behind every single move — you get exhausted. You’ve had a good break, but then you kind of see where the game’s trending, you don’t know, it’s like, ‘Where do I fit in?’ And it’s kind of a blessing in disguise, like this is the perfect spot. I can do a lot of different things here. A lot of different things. It doesn’t have to be just defense or just passing. Or just in the corners. It’s going to be good. It’s going to be good. I’m going to do a lot of different things.”

Source : ESPN