Andre Iguodala says Rasheed Wallace would be 'better than Giannis’ if he played in today's NBA

By , Audacy

It’s already been an eventful summer for Andre Iguodala, who won his fourth championship, defeating the Celtics last month in a thrilling NBA Finals. Appearing at the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe (he finished 57th in this year’s field), the Warriors veteran opined that Pistons great Rasheed Wallace, had he played in today’s perimeter-oriented NBA, would have been a top-five player in the league.

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“Rasheed Wallace probably could have been a top-five player in the league for a 10-year stretch,” Iguodala told Jon “Stugotz” Weiner of The Dan Le Batard Show. “He was shooting halfcourt shots left-handed and right-handed. If Rasheed Wallace played in modern-day basketball, if he played in the league today, he’d be a top-five player. He’d be better than Giannis [Antetokounmpo] and I love Giannis.”

Wallace had retired by the time Antetokounmpo arrived in Milwaukee as a scrawny teenager, taking the league by storm with his rare combination of length and athleticism. It’s a stretch to compare Wallace to a two-time MVP, though they do share similar traits, both standing 6’11” with good touch around the basket. Wallace was no slouch defensively (his Pistons put on a clinic in the ’04 Finals) and arguably a better shooter than Giannis, joining Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Bosh in pioneering the “stretch four” position.

It's a whopper of a take from Iguodala and the type of loose-lipped exaggeration you’d expect from a player who has spent the past month with a drink in one hand and a cigar in the other. While Wallace may not measure up to Antetokounmpo, he’ll probably go down as one of the more underappreciated players of his era, with too much emphasis placed on his legendary temper (only two players in NBA history, Karl Malone and Charles Barkley, have been assessed more technicals) and not enough mention of his on-court accomplishments including a championship and four All-Star appearances.

Unlike many players from past generations, Wallace’s skill set would have translated well to today’s game, where post play has largely been eradicated, replaced by athletic playmakers who can shoot from anywhere on the court. One such player is Klay Thompson, a known oddball who made headlines with his reckless—perhaps drunken—behavior at the team’s victory parade in San Francisco.

“Klay will just drift,” said Iguodala of his gloriously strange teammate. “It’s hard to explain because you don’t know what you’re going to get. It’s like a box of chocolates. Like which Klay are we getting today?”

An unrestricted free agent, Iguodala would assuredly be welcomed back as a veteran mentor, though the 38-year-old may be content going out on top, leaving the NBA to pursue other interests including a budding media career as a podcast host with former teammate Evan Turner.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus, Getty Images