KD, Andre Iguodala, Mike Conley to Have Jersey Numbers Retired
It was an offseason of change.
The entire landscape of the NBA will be completely different once the new season begins. Player movement has been at its absolute peak over the past month and simply put, every team has been effected by it. Cornerstone pieces have found new homes, while franchise-altering moves were made.
Three of those franchise-altering moves were made in Memphis and Golden State.
A month ago, the Memphis Grizzlies trade Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz. Conley all 12-years of his career in Memphis, becoming a fan favourite and a pivotal piece of the Grit-n-Grind era of Grizzlies basketball. One of the most underrated players in the NBA throughout his tenure, Conley averaged 21 points and 6 assists per game in his final season with the Grizzlies.
The Golden State Warriors also moved on from a couple of valuable pieces this offseason.
Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala have departed from the franchise. Durant chose to move on to the Brooklyn Nets in free agency, while Iguodala was traded for salary cap relief reasons in order to make room for D’Angelo Russell.
Durant spent three seasons in the Bay Area, helping lead the Warriors to three straight finals, winning two championships and two Finals MVPs over the process. Meanwhile, Iguodala has been the unsung hero of the Warriors dynasty. In six seasons with the Warriors, Iguodala helped the Warriors secure three NBA championships, five Finals berths, while being names the Finals MVP in 2015.
Statement from Warriors Co-Chairman & CEO Joe Lacob on Kevin Durant: pic.twitter.com/D2TPPZPuz1
— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) July 1, 2019
As a way to honour all three men, both franchises announced that they will retire all three of their jersey numbers once all is said and done.
“During the summer of 2013, we went through an extensive free agency process in our efforts to sign Andre Iguodala. At that time, we envisioned him becoming a vital part of a young, up-and-coming team with championship aspirations. As we look back six years later, we actually underestimated what his value would be to our team, both on the court and in the locker room,” team owner Joe Lacob penned in a statement. “In what has been well-documented, Andre sacrificed for the betterment of our team and, in one of the best stories of this journey, earned NBA Finals MVP honors in 2015. He has been absolutely vital to our success during five consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals and three championships. We thank Andre for his contributions and look forward to seeing his number in the rafters at Chase Center.”
The same sentiments were echoed today by Grizzlies owner Robert Pera as it pertains to Conley.
“For his innumerable contributions on the court and in our community, Mike will always be a beloved Memphian. We are proud that Mike’s #11 jersey will one day be raised to the rafters in FedExForum.”