Andre Iguodala: "We were huge fans of Mark, he was the ultimate player's coach and was one of my favorite coaches of all time... But once they want you out, they’re gonna find something. One particular issue from what I heard was his views on gender, marriage, or what the Bible said on your sexuality. Our head of our business, Rick Welts... He was a genius in business and celebrated as one of the top execs in sports on the business side. He’s gay, so there were conflicts with that that were widespread."
Interviews with current and former athletes can often be token and cliched exercises in monotony, but Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala's interview on The Breakfast Club Tuesday was anything but that.
If you were expecting your garden variety of predictable answers, you were shocked with one of the most telling interviews of the year.
First, the former 2015 Finals MVP essentially threw the much-derided Warriors medical staff under the bus. Many felt the Warriors doctors were negligent with Kevin Durant's 'calf injury' that would later become a ruptured Achilles. Iguodala said a similar instance happened to him in the 2018 Western Conference Finals vs. the Houston Rockets when the team passed on information regarding an ongoing Iguodala injury as a 'bone bruise' when Iguodala revealed it was indeed a fracture. Much like KD, Iguodala said the discounted injury report put more pressure on him to play in the series, given the mildness of the diagnosis.
But that wasn't even the most scathing part of the interview. Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Envy proceeded to ask Iguodala what exactly happened to the seemingly white-washed former Warriors coach Mark Jackson, who was once on one of the most glorious coaching paths in the sport's history until it was instantly yanked away from him without warning.
Jackson had taken a terrible Warriors team led by Monta Ellis and turned it into a 50-win team on the precipice of an immaculate run.
The immaculate run came, but without Jackson behind the wheel. After back-to-back playoff seasons with a new era of stars led by Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, Jackson was shockingly let go by the organization, citing that the budding group needed another leader.
That leader would then become Steve Kerr, who would steer the team to five consecutive Western Conference Finals titles and three NBA Championships with Jackson robbed of the opportunity to be in the same company of coaching legends the likes of Red Auerbach, Phil Jackson, Pat Riley, and Gregg Popovich.
Jackson was denied a spot on board sitting shotgun on one of the greatest dynasties in sports and no one really knew why.
Iguodala's unadulterated comments on The Breakfast Club seemed to paint a clearer picture.
Jackson was once infamously quoted in 2011 about the aspects of the Warriors signing openly gay free agent big man Jason Collins. Jackson responded to the question with 'Not in my locker room.'"
The front office's irreconcilable differences with Jackson always seemed like a mystery, but Iguodala's admissions make sense.
Warriors President Rick Welts is openly homosexual and was at one point entangled in the Jason Collins/Mark Jackson controversy that really muddled Jacksons standing with the team.
Jackson hasn't worked in the NBA since, despite playing a major part in sparking Golden State's unprecedented run of five consecutive Finals appearances.
Even though Jackson's comments on Collins were public knowledge, it was still peculiar for Iguodala, still under contract with the Warriors, to shed light on a regrettable facet of Jackson's coaching career that ultimately cut it short.
Jackson has spent the last five seasons as an NBA commentator when ESPN.