Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala are two of the Warriors’ outspoken leaders.
They’ve seen it all, they’ve done it all and now they’re sharing their wisdom with Golden State’s young stars in two very different ways.
Iguodala, the 37-year-old veteran forward has played 18 seasons in the NBA. Green has played 10 seasons in the NBA. The two have won three championships together and numerous awards such as Finals MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, All-NBA and All-Defensive team awards. Not to mention four All-Star appearances between the two of them.
Iguodala joined his teammate this week on “The Draymond Green Show,” where the two discussed how they’ve gone about mentoring young players such as Jordan Poole as well as 2021 first-round picks Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.
“I think I’ve tried to learn through every experience that I’ve had,” Iguodala said. “I’ve made some mistakes in the past, and I think that’s the biggest part of it. I’ve got people around me that will — [business partner Rudy Cline-Thomas] is my man but he’ll flat out tell me ‘you’re full of s–t, you’re not being a leader right now.’ I’ll accept it and then go back and wonder what could I have done differently. I think it’s just helped me. Even with our runs from (2015-2019), there were some things that I got wrong. I would retrace my steps and then next time that comes up, I know how to handle it.”
Of the exciting, young players the Warriors have on their roster, Iguodala has taken on a mentor role with Poole, who is currently having a breakout season.
“Jordan Poole was one of my favorite guys,” Iguodala explained. “He’s an emotional player, and I was an emotional player. So sometimes I gotta place myself in his shoes. He wants to win and he’s trying to get his stuff off and sometimes you might tell him something and he might not react the right way. I have to look at myself at 22 (years old), I was reacting the same way. I was like ‘okay, put yourself in his shoes.’
“I try and do that more so than any other time, just seeing it from my perspective and trying to see it in his view and say ‘alright how would I want (my teammates) to help me in those situations.’ Patience is a big part of it but over time an understanding that you really rock with them. Like, ‘no bro, I really love you and you’re really my man for life now.’ Once you get past that barrier then they’re open to any kind of constructive criticism.”
Draymond, on the other hand, has taken the Warriors’ No. 7 overall pick under his wing this season. With a 12-year age gap between him and Kuminga, Green has taken a unique approach in mentoring the young forward.
“I’m trying to take it upon myself to figure out how is it that I have to lead him,” Green said of Kuminga. “One of the things for me that I’m figuring out is that Jonathan Kuminga is not really a peer of mine, he’s 12 years younger than me. I’m 31 years old, he’s 19 years old, he’s not really my peer. One of the things that I’ve been trying to do is when dealing with (him) is to view him more as my child than my brother. Or a younger brother, than a brother I’m going to hang with that I grew up with. View him more in that light as opposed to the light I would view you in. The way that I would say something to you, I probably can’t say that to him, because I wouldn’t say that to (Draymond’s son) DJ.
“It’s an adjustment for me because here I am 31 years old now. The last two years we’ve sucked … bad. As opposed to leading guys to where they need to go in their career, you’re just trying to teach them how to win games. Losing is miserable, and there are certainly things that get lost within that. I’m starting to figure that out with JK and really trying to teach him everything that I can to see him have the success that he should have. Then you have a young guy like Moses [Moody] who is one of those old souls. Temperament is different, it’s like he’s been in the league forever, just kind of moves around a little differently. The contrast is there.”
Both Green and Iguodala know a thing or two about success at the NBA level, and how they help mentor the Warriors’ young stars could go a long way in their development as professionals.
So far, with the Warriors off to an 18-3 start to the season, the dynamic between the veterans and the young players on the roster seems to be working out just fine.
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