We are now in the thick of another NBA Finals, and like clockwork, Andre Iguodala is out there with the potential to make a huge difference for his team. Iguodala is currently appearing in his sixth straight championship series, with the previous five coming as a member of the Golden State Warriors.
Now, he finds himself on a Heat team looking for answers after a disastrous Game 1 loss that included several injuries to Miami’s key players. Iguodala proved in the Eastern Conference Finals that he still has something left in the tank, coming up huge in the closeout Game 6 against Boston when he knocked down all four of his threes en route to 15 points.
He’ll try to help the Heat find their footing again in Game 2 on Friday night against the Lakers, but before then, Iguodala opened up to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN with a comprehensive explanation about why chose the phrase “Group Economics” as the social justice phrase for his uniform, when there were so many other less cryptic choices to select from.
“How do you bring more value to the Black community?” Iguodala explained. “How do we get more value out of ourselves? How do we build up our communities? How do we build up our communities so we don’t rely on government?
“People understand how powerful voting is, how powerful government officials, their jobs are, and they start running — and then how important it is not just voting for the president, but local officials. Now you have better funding for schools because your land’s worth more. You know, you have more home ownership because the land’s higher. You have more commercial development because the land’s worth a lot. And then when you buy from your own, you’re essentially recycling money back into your own community.
“If we start building our own businesses and buying from ourselves, then that’s how we build our communities, and then that’s how you get school systems that are great, and that’s when you start having better relationships with law enforcement.”
It’s a lot to take in, but it certainly speaks to the forethought about the messaging Iguodala wanted to display to the world during his on-court time. It also aligns with the outcome of the recent work stoppage, when the players put pressure on the league and owners to ultimately come up with a multi-pronged social justice initiative that would help use their money and leverage to make a difference in many of these sectors of American life.
Not all players where happy with the approved phrases for jerseys, with several, including LeBron James, opting to forego them without being able to choose their own messaging. Still, Iguodala’s choice speaks to a much deeper understanding of how these issues affect the Black community.