Grantland has a long profile of former Sixer Andre Iguodala, suggesting he’s a Scottie Pippen-like do-it-all player who has never found his Michael Jordan to quite mesh with. And it didn’t help, apparently, that Iguodala played in front of notoriously tough Philadelphia fans who could only see what he wasn’t—Allen Iverson—instead of appreciating the gifts he had.
It didn’t help that the Sixers struggled with Iguodala as the face of the franchise. Every offseason seemed like time to start over. Philadelphia cycled through coaches: O’Brien, Cheeks, DiLeo, Eddie Jordan, Doug Collins. Fans grew impatient. Their ire was often reserved for the one constant: Iguodala.
They wanted a shooter and a scorer and a winning team, not a player who could do it all. Iguodala consulted with Donovan McNabb, the Eagles’ oft-criticized quarterback. “Philly is not understanding [about anyone who is] 19 years old and coming into this league,” Shanklin said. “Philly is on record booing Santa Claus.” Iguodala was nothing like the charismatic, controversial Iverson. His jumper ran hot-and-cold. He could be aloof in interviews. The fans were unforgiving, acting as though Iguodala himself had traded Iverson. “If we lost, I couldn’t go out the next day,” Iguodala said. “I couldn’t walk outside. I would walk down the street and get ‘Fuck you’ all the time. People are always focused on what you don’t do all the time. ‘Why don’t you do this, why don’t you do that?’ Maurice Cheeks was a great coach because he said, ‘You got here because you do what you do. Do what you do well. Don’t let nobody tell you what you can’t do.’
It’s funny that Iggy consulted with McNabb—precisely the guy you want for advice on how to win over skeptical Philly fans, right? But other than that, it’s hard not to notice that the Sixers were a playoff team when Iguodala was around. And they’re not anymore. Seems worth noticing.