Now that the Los Angeles Lakers have on some level become good enough to catch the notice of the Golden State Warriors after signing LeBron James in free agency, one of the topics of the summer has been what various members of Golden State think of James’ move.
Perpetually outspoken forward Draymond Green said he “liked” the move even if it didn’t make him worry about the Lakers, and head coach Steve Kerr said he was too focused on his own team for the Lakers to concern him.
The latest Warrior to comment on James’ move is the man most responsible for guarding James when the Warriors play against him, which is why it makes sense that Andre Iguodala went more in Kerr’s direction of not giving bulletin-board material than mimicking Green’s brashness while speaking to Marc J. Spears of the Undefeated:
What are your thoughts on LeBron James signing with the Lakers?
It makes sense for him to be in L.A. with the influence he has on and off the court and his legacy. That goes right into his business endeavors. I’m always happy for guys who are enjoying the game and maximizing their potential on and off the court. And that is what he is doing.
Iguodala has always seemed like a guy who has interests far beyond the basketball court, much like James. So it’s no surprise he also is impressed with James’ charitable works — most notably opening up a school for underperforming children in his hometown of Akron, Ohio this summer. He also told Spears that he appreciates how James is not just doing his own thing charity-wise, but setting a blueprint for others to follow:
I think [Lakers star newcomer] LeBron James has done a great job of just showing guys what is possible from the philanthropic side, giving back. I’ve always had that in the back of my mind. I’m trying to figure out the right way to do it. Who has the blueprint to do it? What [James] is showing is we don’t have to do it his way, but here is an example.
We’ve already seen that impact on James’ young Lakers teammates, from Josh Hart calling James “a role model” and “a better man than he is a basketball player,” while Kuzma followed James’ lead with some charity of his own.
That’s not to say that those players wouldn’t have valued such things had James not joined the Lakers — Kuzma especially has always come across as very socially conscious — but Iguodala is right that James is setting an amazing example for all young players to follow. Things like that are bigger than basketball, and it’s cool that Iguodala can see the bigger picture.
You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.