Iguodala’s Defense to Define Team USA?
Andre Iguodala’s strength as a defender has not been acquired easily.
“Probably one thing that I do that no one else does, I do defensive drills in the summertime,” he said after U.S. men’s Olympic team practice Saturday, 15 days before the opening game in London. “I go through a set of (defensive) slides a few times per day. And I’m sitting in a defensive stance for a minute straight. So I just try to prepare myself mentally for what I have to go through to help the team out.”
His team, in this case, is trying to be the best in the world.
“You get used to it,” he said of his defensive work. “It’s a (expletive) the first week, from the fact, well, why am I doing this? But when I’m on the court getting steals, and I’m all over the place and I’m not tired — then you know where it’s from.”
The U.S. is benefiting from the extra work. The 6-foot-6 76ers swingman wasn’t invited to the Olympics until last week, when he was awarded one of the last three spots on the 12-man U.S. roster. Instead of filling in around the edges of the bench, his aggressive defense looks as if it will help define the team.