It wasn't quite "We’re going to Disneyland," but the words uttered by NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala would make any golf fan jealous.
“When we won, I’m yelling at Steph, (Stephen Curry) ‘We’re going to Augusta!'” Iguodala told ESPN during a postgame recap. Iguodala was referring to a promise made by Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr to get them on Augusta National, home of the Masters.
“We going to Augusta” - MVP @andre— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) June 17, 2015
If you’re a fan of the Warriors, then you know golf may have played an important role en route to claiming their first NBA title in 40 years.
Take the Western Conference semifinals, for example. After suffering a 10-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Warriors found themselves down 2-1 in the best-of-seven series. An off-day in Memphis before Game 4 began with an intense morning film session, after which Kerr gave his players the afternoon off to do something they enjoy. “I think sometimes the best thing to do is to get away from the gym and do whatever it is you do that relaxes you,” Kerr told the San Jose Mercury News.
To no one’s surprise, Curry and Iguodala decided to take in 18-holes at Mirimichi Golf Course just outside of Memphis that day. “Standing over a golf ball, you’re not thinking about the shots you missed or the defensive errors you made, turnovers, all that kind of stuff” said Curry, who once won a Big Break Celebrity Glass Challenge that you can see in the video below at the 2-minute mark:
Prior to the 2014-15 season, Iguodala had started every game in his 10-year NBA career. This season, Kerr asked the veteran to come off the bench in favor of Harrison Barnes. Golf was one of Iguodala’s way of coping with Kerr’s decision. Iguodala’s mentor, Tyrell Jamerson, told ESPN, “We put on the Golf Channel, so he could relax. If he was having a rough time I’d say, ‘Hey, do you want to go out and hit some golf balls?’”
Golf was a release for Iguodala (who reportedly shoots in the 80s) and Curry (a 0.4 handicap) all season. And now, after dismissing the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the NBA Championship, this duo will get to take on Augusta National.
Here are some photos of the MVPs on the course: