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MANILA, Philippines – Veteran swingman Andre Iguodala was named the 2015 NBA Finals MVP following the Golden State Warriors’ title-clinching victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, June 17, at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Iguodala had never come off the bench for a single NBA game in his life before the 2014-2015 NBA season, but that changed the moment new head coach Steve Kerr took over the team.
“It feels like full circle to me that Andre received the Finals MVP,” said head coach Steve Kerr, who explained how Iguodala sacrificed a starting spot for the team. “Couldn’t have happened to a better person.”
With an idea of having Iguodala spark the Warriors’ second unit, Kerr asked the 11-year veteran to play off the bench for the first time of his life – and he did just that for the entire regular season up to Game 4 of the NBA Finals, wherein Golden State went 80-20.
But with the Warriors down 2-1 to the Cleveland Cavaliers going into the fourth game, Kerr decided to go small and insert Iguodala in the starting line up, to which the 31-year-old did not disappoint.
Golden State didn’t lose any more game the rest of the way after the switch, and Iguodala finished the NBA Finals with averages of 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.0 assists a contest in addition to shooting 52% from the field and 40% from downtown.
Besides that, Iguodala was also tasked with manning 4-time NBA MVP LeBron James, who is considered the best player in the world today. With a smaller line-up, the pace of the games changed to a quicker and more up-tempo play that favored Golden State.
The Warriors, who won Game 6 of the finals 105-97, now get to celebrate their first NBA championship in 40 years.