Today is Day 28 of the Omer. Malchut sheb’netzach. Winning that manifests in Kingship.
How do you become a King? By beating one. And that’s exactly what Andre Iguodala did with the Golden State Warriors in 2015, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers and King James, while winning Finals MVP.*
After moving to the bench in the 2014-15 regular season and averaging 7.8 points/game, Iguodala proved his worth defending James in the finals. With the Warriors down 2-1 to the Cavaliers, Iggy moved back into the starting lineup and helped change the series. He scored 26 points in the decisive Game 6 and averaged 16.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists for the series.
I’ll be honest, the options for Day 28, malchut sheb’netzach, were pretty limited. Only 38 players in NBA/ABA history have worn #28. Why?! 28 is a great number! Someone wear #28! Iguodala has actually only worn the number for fourteen games since being traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Miami Heat mid-season.
But netzach is about winning, endurance, and eternity. When Andre was traded by Golden State to Memphis to clear cap space, he made it clear that at age 36, in his 15th season in the league, he was only interested in playing for a contender. He agreed to wait until a trade or buy-out could be arranged, and was willing to endure the criticism that went with it.
I respect it. With 3 NBA Championships and one Finals MVP, Iguodala knows he’s NBA royalty (malchut) and has the power to dictate where he plays. He also knows that his game works best in a winning situation with other talented players, where he can use his defense, passing, and unselfishness to support the team effort.
For the last day of the week of netzach, we honor a man who understood that winning required sacrifice and that getting back to the top was worth waiting for.
*I’m not going to lie. In hindsight, this MVP seems highly questionable. Iguodola was fantastic, but he also gets credit for “holding” LeBron James to 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists in the series. Steph Curry, who had been eclectic in winning the regular season MVP, “only” averaged 26 points, 6.3 assists, and 5.2 rebounds in the finals on 44.3/38.5/88.5% shooting.