I've just learned that the Sixers have finally agreed to trade 61-year-old swingman Andre Iguodala. In the last year of his 22-year contract, the Seattle SuperDuperSonics found his $54 million expiring appealing enough to send Darius Songaila Jr. and a 5th round pick to the Sixers for Iguodala. Seattle will immediately slot him into the 3-spot in the starting lineup, finally supplanting Juwan Howard from the rotation.
But the story here is Iguodala leaving the Sixers. Having been the subject of trade talk since before the Rapture, there was much speculation about what would happen when his historically large contract did finally expire. Insiders close to the situation were concerned Andre may not have shown up for training camp because of a career-long streak of failing to attend his exit interview for the 9th straight year. That has been the major impetus for the trade, which is to be finalized in the next day or two.
Sixers fans are more than a little disappointed about the haul they pulled in for the almost superstar. With previous 1-for-1 swap possibilities like Monta Ellis, Hedo Turkoglu, Chris Kaman, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Derrick Nowitzki, Phil Gasol, Larry Stackhouse, and Justin Bieber, the Sixers faithful were hoping for more than a late draft pick and Dong Jr. But General Manager and President of Basketball Sense Operations Ed Stefanski is happy with what transpired.
We wish Andre the best of luck. You know, he had a few great years here but we felt that it was time to move in a different direction. Darius Songaila Jr. is a tough kid, we knew his dad well, he comes from a great line of ballplayers and he's gonna bring his lunch pail to the court every game. It's not a step backwards, but it's definitely a step somewhere.
Ever since Commissioner Lil' Bow Wow instituted the rule that wing players be stripped of all passing, dribbling, rebounding, and defensive abilities, Andre has struggled to find his niche in the league. As the de facto Face of the 76ers Franchise for the past 41 years, he's never been the superstar the snowball-throwing fans of Philadelphia wanted him to be. And those off-balance jump shots in crunch time didn't help much either.
Here's what head coach Lou Williams had to say about the Iguodala trade:
I'm stunned. I made my first million before I ever got laid, so I thought the organization would have included me in the decision-making process. The Boss ain't pleased.
Iguodala, who has a career record of 1680-1682 with 24 playoff appearances and just one series victory, will always be criticized for both not embracing the leadership role on this team by scoring at least 20 points per game and also embracing it too much by having the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. It's miraculous that he's been able to play into his 60's, mostly because of his terrific dieting habits and dislike of chocolate.
Here's what former teammate Marreese Speights had to say about the Iguodala trade on his GoogleTwitterBook account:
Smh. u no iggy luv dat phily flava #freeboosie
This is clearly the end of an era in Philadelphia. But maybe now fans can start coming to the Billy King Arena and get behind a superstar. At least the area around the stadiums in South Philadelphia has held up well after the end of the world due to all the bricks Iguodala has laid during his 41-year tenure in the City of Brotherly Love.
Andre Iguodala was not available for comment.