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Andre Iguodala’s family members were reluctant card game participants.

He is, after all, the father who used a casual family game night of Uno to invoke Sun Tzu’s military teachings in “The Art of War.”

“I know what color he has in his hand,” Iguodala, the Miami Heat veteran, said as he recalled a recent game. “I know what color she has Stitched Miami Heat Jerseys in her hand. I know what card she’s about to throw in.”

Afterward, he told his 13-year-old son, Andre II, that his cutthroat mentality had little to do with winning.

“I’ve learned to pick up on my surroundings,” Iguodala said. “That’s something I’ve taught him and that I try to teach him. ‘When you’re Cheap Bruce Bowen Jersey watching me play, see how I’m playing, knowing your opponent.’ It’s like ‘The Art of War’ and giving him a few tactics on just seeing life a certain way, where you’re ultra alert and you try to use those things to your advantage. Data is the key.”

That philosophy has been vital for the 36-year-old Iguodala. Players his age make it this far only by countering the loss of young legs with the wisdom of miles traveled.

“There’s no such thing as having enough knowledge,” Iguodala said.

He plays as though he has already witnessed a sequence, arriving with a quick, solid poke of a ball on defense or delivering Cheap Duncan Robinson Jersey a pass before a teammate steps into the previously unoccupied space, tendencies learned through a lifetime of studying the game.

He credits that knack to playing for hours a day growing up, watching film as a young player, and witnessing up close the work of the league’s defensive stalwarts of that era, players like Scottie Pippen, Bruce Bowen and Metta World Peace.

“From there, you just store the information, learning the trends of the league,” Iguodala said. “Most teams run the same exact plays, so you know where the ball is going before it gets there.”

The mind-set extends beyond the basketball court to entrepreneurial ventures in technology and e-commerce, worlds he started exploring before his 2013 trade to the Golden State Warriors solidified his link to Silicon Valley.

“The folks that follow the tech space, they all know the data is king and we all know the importance of data,” Iguodala said. “And not just the importance of data, but how you use it and how you can use it to expand Cheap Andre Iguodala Jersey and build your company.”

When this year dawned, all data on the basketball side suggested that Iguodala would not figure in the N.B.A. postseason for the first time in a long while.

The Warriors traded him to the Memphis Grizzlies last off-season, after he had played in five consecutive N.B.A. finals, earning the finals’ Most Valuable Player Award in 2015. The trade created a standoff in which Iguodala and Memphis agreed that he would not report to the organization as the Grizzlies found a future home for him.

For a while, Iguodala appeared more often at the enterprise software company Zuora, where he serves as a board adviser, than on any N.B.A. radar.

“A lot of athletes that do this will stay on what we call the consumer side, the well-known brands, Apple, Instagram,” said Tien Tzuo, Zuora’s chief executive. “I work in more of a space of business applications, business software. It’s not as well known. And he just showed an incredibly strong interest in Cheap Jae Crowder Jersey that. It’s not something that you might approach as a layman.”

The Heat acquired Iguodala in a three-team trade in February and, as he regained his footing, the coronavirus pandemic suspended the season indefinitely.

Iguodala, the first vice president of the National Basketball Players Association, helped coordinate the season’s restart in a bubble environment at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Fla., collaborating on protocols for a return and fielding phone calls from concerned players.

Some voiced hesitation, worried that resuming play would distract from calls for social justice after the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.

ImageThe Heat’s Jae Crowder, left, Duncan Robinson, center, and Andre Iguodala celebrating in Game 4 of the N.B.A. finals.
The Heat’s Jae Crowder, left, Duncan Robinson, center, and Andre Iguodala celebrating in Game 4 of the N.B.A. finals.Credit…Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
The N.B.A.’s return featured Black Lives Matter wording near center court, and many players wore league-sanctioned messaging on the back of their jerseys.

“You do see the sports leagues taking more of a stance,” said Iguodala, who chose to have “Group Economics” on the back of his jersey instead of his last name. Iguodala added that for leagues with a majority-Black work force, like the N.B.A.: “I think there’s a moral compass there. And so you have to take some type of stance. And it’s not really a political stance — it’s a human stance.”

Then, in August, Iguodala became one of the most vocal players during a series of meetings after the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis.

The players initiated a work stoppage of playoff games until the league’s franchise owners agreed to specific commitments, including searching for ways to provide voting access to underrepresented communities.

“How you get so many African-American athletes of that wealth to be able to come out stronger as a whole, as a union, that was a beautiful thing, regardless of what people may have thought would happen,” Iguodala said. “Just seeing all of us being able to have dialogue, whether we agreed or we disagreed with one another, that was huge.”

Iguodala ended the season in his sixth consecutive finals, where Miami lost to the Lakers in six games.

“The bubble was the perfect environment for us, because of how they mentally train the guys to take on any challenge,” Iguodala said. “We were just ready for it, and we made the most of it.”

Iguodala is also making the most of his off-court pursuits. He was an early investor in Zoom, the platform he used to conduct the interview for this article. He joined Comcast Ventures’ Catalyst Fund as a venture partner.

His goal is to continue educating, creating access for and investing in minorities and marginalized communities. In other words, backing up the message he wore on the back of his jersey.

“Professional athletes have too much downtime,” Iguodala said. “That’s how they get in trouble. What I’ve been able to do is take that time and find something that’s purposeful, and it’s a passion, something I really enjoy, and not just monetize it, but also help bring my cohorts into the space with me and help them learn as well.”

Iguodala and Stephen Curry joined with Bloomberg L.P. in 2017 to create the annual Players Technology Summit, a forum to link athletes with executives in technology and venture capitalism.

“People don’t realize the potential athletes have to learn, given the fact that they’ve been professionals in this one discipline for such a long time, from basically childhood,” said Rudy-Cline Thomas, the founder of the venture capital firm Mastry and Iguodala’s longtime business partner. “The potential for learning something outside of that is extremely high.”

Image
Iguodala and his Warriors teammate Stephen Curry during a Bloomberg Television interview at the first Players Technology Summit in San Francisco in 2017.Credit…David Paul Morris/Bloomberg, via Getty Images
As Iguodala’s basketball career winds down — “sooner rather than later” he’ll be able to focus on other things, he said — he wants to make sure other players recognize their value on and off the court.

“We always talk about player health physically and mentally, but ultimately that No. 1 agenda is the dollars and how much can we bring in,” Iguodala said.

Iguodala pointed to the recent sale of the Utah Jazz to Ryan Smith, the chief executive of Qualtrics, for $1.66 billion. The franchise’s previous sale was for $8 million in 1985, when the auto dealer Larry H. Miller bought 50 percent. He later bought the rest of the franchise for $14 million.

“Any player in the history of playing for the Jazz organization — John Stockton, Karl Malone — did any of them benefit from that value increase?” Iguodala said. “Did any of them have skin in the game? No.”

Just 50 days separated the end of the N.B.A. finals from the start of training camp last week. The N.B.A. faced a significant financial loss if it waited until the next calendar year.

“I think players are realizing that we have to stand a little bit more firm with our negotiations, in terms of who’s bearing the brunt of the risk when we’re put in these tough situations,” Iguodala said. “You’re asking us to put our bodies on the line and take more of a financial risk.”

Iguodala hopes that players collectively and individually realize their worth.

Careers don’t last forever.

For now, Iguodala’s continues, the data stored from last season’s winding road taken into a new one.

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Since 2018, Cheap Anthony Carter Jersey has served as the player development coach for the Miami Heat. But his ties to the team go back more than two decades, when he began his NBA career with the Heat in 1999. In between, he played a role in changing the franchise’s fortunes forever.

No, Carter wasn’t a superstar in Miami like Cheap Dwyane Wade Jersey and Cheap LeBron James Jersey were. But without him, the Heat may not have three championships today.

Let’s hop back to the 2002-03 season. Carter, who was 27 years old at the time, wanted to exercise his player option to stay in Miami. Carter averaged 4.1 points while shooting an abysmal 35.6% from the field (and zero percent from three) the season before.

The option, worth $4.1 million, was an obvious choice. There was only one problem: Carter’s agent, Bill Duffy, missed the June 30 deadline to tell the Heat Carter planned to return.

Tom Hauck / Allsport
Instead of getting his $4.1 million, Carter became a free agent. He signed a minimum contract with the San Antonio Spurs, worth about $750,000. On the plus side, Carter only played in five games before the Spurs waived him – a $150,000 per game salary is pretty good.

Still, Carter missed out on a bigger payday. To make things right, Duffy offered Carter $3 million from his own pocket. The two agreed to a repayment schedule, and Duffy delivered the final payment at the end of 2020.

UPDATE: Jan. 12, 5:36 p.m. — The Heat have ruled Leonard out, while Olynyk and Vincent are available. So they’ll have the required 8 players to field a team for Tuesday’s game vs. the Sixers.

The Miami Heat have placed 8 players into health and safety protocols, including Cheap Jimmy Butler Jersey Cheap Bam Adebayo Jersey and Cheap Avery Bradley Jersey. Here’s the full list of players who will be unavailable for Tuesday’s game vs. the Philadelphia 76ers courtesy of Ira Winderman:

Out for Heat for protocols:
Adebayo
Butler
Bradley
Dragic
Harkless
Haslem
Nunn
Okpala

— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) January 11, 2021
So that leaves the Heat with Cheap Tyler Herro Jersey, Cheap Precious Achiuwa Jersey, Cheap Andre Iguodala Jersey, Cheap Duncan Robinson Jersey, Cheap Chris Silva Jersey and Cheap Max Strus Jersey as players who will be available. Cheap Kelly Olynyk Jersey, Cheap Meyers Leonard Jersey and Cheap Gabe Vincent Jersey are considered questionable, so two of those three would need to be available in order for this game to be played.

Meanwhile, the Sixers will be without Seth Curry (covid-19) and Ben Simmons (knee) on Monday vs. the Atlanta Hawks. Tobias Harris, Shake Milton and Matisse Thybulle are also expected to be out Monday with Joel Embiid listed as probable.

Despite the blunder, Carter has remained on good terms with Duffy, saying he understood that sometimes things happen. And Duffy is still an agent today, representing several NBA players, including Luka Doncic, Cheap Goran Dragic Jersey, and Rajon Rondo. In fact, he likely benefited from his act, with other players and coaches seeing him trying to fix things.

With Carter no longer on Miami’s books, Heat president Pat Riley suddenly had extra cap space. He used it to sign Lamar Odom away from the Los Angeles Clippers. The following season, in 2004, Odom was traded — along with Cheap Caron Butler Jersey and Cheap Brian Grant Jersey – to the Los Angeles Lakers for Shaquille O’Neal.

Two years after that trade, O’Neal and Wade led the Heat to its first championship in franchise history. And if you support the butterfly effect, James may have never signed with the Heat in 2010 if they hadn’t won a title a few years earlier.

It’s certainly an interesting hypothetical to consider. And it took almost 20 years, but Carter finally got his money.

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But at least one person who spoke out was not at all appalled by the comparison. That’d be Cheap Dwyane Wade Jersey himself.

“He can be better,” Wade posted on Twitter last week. “America, here is your number 1 pick!”

Very well could happen.

He can be better. America here is your number 1 pick! Ayo @VicOladipo we’re all built from the same cloth 💪🏾 That Tom Crean cloth! https://t.co/ZTXg9VpZU7

— DWade (@DwyaneWade) October 30, 2020
We’ll find out Wednesday night when the NBA Draft commences at 8 p.m. from ESPN’s studios in Bristol, Conn. This year’s draft will be conducted virtually, thanks to the unrelenting coronavirus pandemic.

But while there will be no stage walk or hug from commissioner Adam Silver for Edwards, most NBA draft analysts expect Edwards to be the first player off the board. The Minnesota Timberwolves are holding that selection. If not, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound guard from Southwest Atlanta is expected to be, at the very least, a lottery pick.

Whatever happens, it’s going to be a red-letter day for Edwards and his family. But No. 1? Now that would very big deal.

Even the great Wade had to wait to No. 5.

“I don’t really care about stuff like that,” Edwards said of the prospect of being the first player drafted. “Whatever team’s willing to take the chance on me, I’m just ready to go in and give it my all.”

The Miami Heat has some offensive woes to address
As presently constituted, the Miami Heat are certainly capable of defending its Eastern Conference crown and making another run to the NBA Finals. Who it faces should it get there is another story.

The Los Angeles Lakers were a cut above Miami when the two teams last met in October and the gap grew wider over the offseason when it added two sixth man of the year candidates and Marc Gasol to an already stacked roster.

Across town, the LA Clippers possess an equally imposing roster with two superstars and a very talented supporting cast.

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The task of identifying the Heat’s shortcoming as a legitimate championship contender is quite easier than would be to address it.

Whereas Miami ranks eighth in the league in team defense, it currently stands 22nd on offense.

Comparatively, the defending champion Lakers are 5th on defense and offense.

It has become a regularity when the Heat play that it will go through scoring droughts. Is the answer James Harden?

From a talent standpoint, without question Harden would immediately elevate the Heat’s overall offensive efficiency.

No single player in the league has been as devastating a scorer as Harden since, arguably, Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles in 2013.

There are two problems with adding him, though.

Any package Miami would send to Houston would need to include both rookie sensation Cheap Tyler Herro Jersey and Cheap Duncan Robinson Jersey, the second most efficient 3-point shooter in the league.

Now, would a lineup featuring Cheap Jimmy Butler Jersey James Harden, and Bam Adebayo be enough to unseat the Lakers? Possibly, but it would require Miami to mortgage its foreseeable future as a result. That’s a pretty big gamble.

The second problem is the fit with Harden and the Heat seems less than ideal.

Harden is accustomed to having the ball in his hands for a majority of the shot clock, whereas Miami relies on a heavy amount of ball movement to initiate its offense.

Off the court, his reputation precedes him as a “man of the evening” who has been known to attend a strip club or two. With a burgeoning nightlife like the one South Beach has to offer, could you imagine the level of distraction the Beard would become almost immediately?

People care to make light of the whole “Heat Culture” tagline that was somewhat forced down the national audience’s throat last season in the playoffs, but if there was one thing learned from the pairing of Jimmy Butler-Miami a few summers ago, it is very much a real thing.

It takes a workhorse to thrive in the Pat Riley system.

For every Cheap Alonzo Mourning Jersey, there is a Cheap Hassan Whiteside Jersey or Cheap Jamal Mashburn Jersey who is perfectly content approaching the season in cruise control. Harden seems to fall more comfortably under that second classification of a player.

The easy solution to Miami’s offensive woes would be for Jimmy Butler to distinguish himself as a consistent and dominant go-to scorer. For whatever reason, that hasn’t been the case.

Butler will have his moments, as he did in the NBA Finals, where he can completely take over a game and elicit the type of memories that transformed South Beach once upon a time to Wade county. The following game, however, he falls back into the type of second banana role more befitting of what Philadelphia and Minnesota featured him as during his stops there.

Butler’s current scoring average to date this season is 13.8, leaving him roughly tied with Cheap Goran Dragic Jersey as the second-best option on offense to leading scorer Cheap Bam Adebayo Jersey at 18.6.

Miami has a decision to make.

With an equal blend of exceptional young and veteran talent, will the franchise maintain an eye for the future or trade-off its young assets for a player along the lines of Victor Oladipo and really swing for the championship fences?

For now, it appears unlikely the Heat will be able to have its cake and eat it too.

And, if there is one thing everyone knows about team president Pat Riley, it’s that the word patience is not in his vocabulary. It was a fork in the road moment when Miami first learned it lost Cheap LeBron James Jersey back in 2014 and Riley was left to pick up the pieces.

It was a fork in the road moment in 2001 when the team had just traded Jamal Mashburn and PJ Brown for Cheap Eddie Jones Jersey and Anthony Mason before getting sucker-punched with the news that team centerpiece Alonzo Mourning had suddenly been diagnosed with a rare life-threatening kidney disease.

NEXT: NBA: 5 way-too-early Most Improved Player candidates for 2021
Yet again, we have reached another fork in the road moment. What will Pat Riley do?

Edwards going first would be an especially big deal to the University of Georgia. The Bulldogs have never had a men’s basketball player go No. 1 in the draft. Even Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins – the “Human Highlight Film” — went third to the Utah Jazz, who promptly traded him to the Hawks.

While Georgia basketball doesn’t have the greatest of track records when it comes to on-court success, the Bulldogs have held their own over the years with the draft. They’ve had seven first-rounders, including four top-10 picks topped by Wilkins’ selection in 1982. Georgia’s other first-rounders include Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (No. 8 in 2013), Jarvis Hayes (10, 2003), Willie Anderson (10, 1998),Cheap Alec Kessler Jersey (12, 1990), Vern Fleming (18, 1984) and Jumaine Jones (27, 1999).

“He wants to be number one and I want him to be number one,” Georgia coach Tom Crean said. “But at the end of the day, the thing I want for Anthony Edwards is to be in the right environment, where he has a head coach that’s going to invest in him in a big way. … My hope (is) he gets a coaching staff that’s going to spend time with him.”

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Hawks want to win, not rebuild
Edwards going No. 1 would make him first Atlanta citizen to do that since Dwight Howard in 2004. He’d also be just the third Georgian to receive that distinction, joining Kwame Brown of Brunswick in 2001.

What else does it mean? Zion Williamson, the top pick of the 2019 draft, signed a four-year contract reportedly worth $44.4 million. The No. 10 selection of last year’s draft, Kevin Porter, inked a $10 million deal. So, Wednesday will be a life-changing moment regardless of draft position.

Whatever that happens to be, it will represent a blessing not only to Edwards, but also to his sister, Antoinette, and brother, Antoine. They raised Edwards after their mother, Yvette Edwards, and grandmother, Shirley Edwards, died from separate illnesses in the same year not long after Anthony Edwards entered high school.

“I just want to show them that I’m a great kid off the court,” Edwards said of the NBA. “I’m always smiling, always happy, and I’m just a good spirit. … I’m ready to go and I’ll just be happy with wherever I fall.”

As usual, there was a pretty good debate raging in the days leading into Wednesday’s draft if, in fact, Edwards should be No. 1. There is sentiment that perhaps it should be James Wiseman of Memphis or LaMelo Ball of California, among others.

Meanwhile, Edwards said he worked out only for Minnesota, Golden State and Charlotte. Those happen to be the teams selecting one, two and three, pending potential trades.