On Thursday, Andre Iguodala made official what most had long assumed in that he was retiring from the NBA this season. The announcement came in the most 2023 way possible: via a newly-created podcast.
Alongside former teammate Evan Turner, Iggy launched the Point Forward podcast with the first episode on Friday dedicated to his retirement and reminiscing on his time in the NBA.
While Iguodala is more commonly associated with the Warriors and the dynasty at Golden State, he was well into his NBA career before moving out to the West Coast. And during most of those early years, Iguodala was represented by current Lakers vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka.
On Friday’s episode, Iguodala specifically recalled a moment with the Sixers early in his career where he turned down a big extension, but did so while putting his trust in Pelinka.
“That was one of the strong suits, the power of Rob Pelinka. Like, he really had me believing like ‘Bro, they are lowballing you. There’s no way you can take that.’ So, I see kids now and I’m like ‘What is your agent telling you? What? Are you crazy?’ But I’m believing my agent the same way. But, I do think Rob had a sense of who he was dealing with. Like he knew the work I was putting in every summer. Like, I’m doing two-a-days in the summer, I’m watching film. I asked a million questions about Kobe every day. He knew what I was doing. So he was like ‘Bro, no bro.’ And he’s like ‘I got you a deal for this over here anyway.’ So I had a backup plan anyway.”
To Pelinka’s credit, Iguodala’s second contract ended up north of the $60 million he turned down, coming in at over $80 million.
Most associate Pelinka as Kobe Bryant’s agent or the decision-maker for the Lakers. But he was one of the more prominent agents in the league during his time. And while he didn’t have an extensive list of clients, he didn’t have some of the more notable ones in the league, including Iguodala and James Harden along with Kobe Bryant.
Because of that, he built relationships with those players and it led to them often being linked to the Lakers after he took the job. Multiple times, Iguodala and the Lakers were mentioned in rumors once Pelinka took charge, but it never came to fruition.
What’s noteworthy, though, is the impact Pelinka had on players he represented. Obviously, he, Kobe and the Bryant family formed the closest of bonds but he left an impact on Iguodala as well despite the player spending a good chunk of the end of his career no longer represented by him.
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