Andre Iguodala's Signature Philly Sports Moment

Andre Iguodala's Signature Philly Sports Moment

As overly dedicated Philly sports fans, we all probably watch too many hours of ball games every week. Multiply that over 52 weeks a year, times however many years you've been alive, and you've surely seen thousands and thousands of hours of your favorite athletes competing. But when you think back on any one player or any particular team's season, typically most of us only remember a couple of the game-changing plays.

Every superstar has their signature moment. Some even have a few. Allen Iverson stepping over Tyronn Lue is always the first play I think of when I recall the glory days of Bubba Chuck. The young rookie A.I. crossing up Michael Jordan is certainly at the forefront of my Sixers memories as well. Jimmy Rollins had the two-out walkoff in Game 4 of the 2009 NLCS against the Dodgers. Chase Utley had the deke and throw home in the game that crowned the Phillies WFC in 2008. Dr. J had the up-and-under brilliant layup against the Lakers. Ryan Howard had "Get me to the plate, boys." Mike Richards had "the shift" against Montreal in 2010. These are my memories of the superstars I've watched in Philadelphia. Donovan McNabb had the scramble and heave against the Cowboys.

Andre Iguodala, despite playing here for the better part of a decade, never really had a signature moment. Yes, he's hit a couple big game winners, a nice one against the Lakers in 2009, and the dagger against the Magic in the playoffs down in Orlanda that same year, but those shots were from mostly forgettable games/series from a forgettable team. I'd even go so far as to argue that the most memorable moment of Iguodala's career, for me at least, was his sick-nasty-ridiculous dunk from Iverson off-the-backboard in the dunk contest years back when he got robbed of a victory by Nate Robinson. Still bitter.

The often misguided vitriol towards Iguodala becomes tired. But his free throw shooting during clutch time truly was abominable.

So it was with great joy that I sat in the stands of the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night and watched Iguodala slam his place into the positive memories of Philadelphia sports fans in the most absurd of fashions. By not slamming at all.

It was story book alright, but mostly because anytime he got to the line late in games this season, anyone who watched them for even two games this season knew how awful he was down the stretch from the charity stripe.

Your thoughts on Dre aside for one night, you absolutely had to feel happy for him after hitting those two shots.

If Dre had hit two free throws to win a meaningless regular season game in March we'd probably remember that moment like it were yesterday, but he hit two free throws to propel his team on to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in a decade, a No. 8 seed over a No. 1.

And he had one heck of a story to go along with it.

After struggling from the line earlier in the Bulls series, Dre got some advice from teammate Tony Battie: think of something you love when you're shooting the freebies.

"Actually, I started thinking of my son when I shoot free throws,” Iguodala said when asked about what was going through his mind before he drained a pair. "So I’m kind of talking to him when I shoot free throws. It makes it a lot easier. You relax a little bit more and it kind of becomes like practice. You shut everything else out.”

"It’s like I’m teaching him how to shoot free throws, and when you’re teaching your son how to shoot free throws, you can’t miss. You’d look kinda crazy."

Iguodala's son now has some playoff game tape to watch if he ever wants to learn how to be clutch.

And No. 9 now has one truly memorable signature Philly sports moment.

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Dre on hitting the free throws:

Lifeless Phillies should call up red-hot Roman Quinn ... why not?

Lifeless Phillies should call up red-hot Roman Quinn ... why not?

The Phillies are a lifeless team right now.

For a while the starting pitching was the biggest issue, then it was the bullpen, now it's the offense. The Phils have hit .224 since May 12, which was when their 2-7 road trip began. 

Their .268 on-base percentage over that span is worst in the majors and their .613 OPS is better than only the Mariners.

Players up and down the lineup are slumping. Odubel Herrera has hit .207 with a .246 OBP since the ninth game of the season. Michael Saunders hasn't given them much at any point. Maikel Franco had an eight-game hit streak snapped Monday, but even still is hitting .221 with a .281 on-base percentage. 

At this point, why not bring up Roman Quinn and play him every day? It makes too much sense right now.

Daniel Nava went on the 10-day DL Monday with a hamstring strain suffered Friday in Pittsburgh. It doesn't seem to be a serious injury, but why not use the open space as an excuse to bring Quinn up for at least a few days and see what he's got?

Quinn could infuse some energy and life to the top of a sputtering lineup. Bat him second, play him in the corner outfield and see what happens. At the very least, he'd be a defensive upgrade over Saunders. At the most, Quinn's hunger to stick in the majors could result in a hot streak that sparks the top of the order the way Herrera does when he's hot.

Quinn is hitting lately at Triple A, batting .333 with a .424 OBP over his last 15 games. He showed last September that he can be an offensive catalyst with his ability to beat out infield singles, bunt for hits and spray the ball. Yes, he strikes out too much for a leadoff-type hitter, but it's just hard to see the downside of a call-up right now.

The argument against bringing Quinn up now is that it's too early to sour on Saunders, a player the Phillies signed in hopes of trading at some point. But think about how much Saunders would have to do to have worthwhile trade value. Yeah, you could flip him somewhere for a negligible return or some salary relief, but he'd have to be extremely productive for at least a month to get a team interested in trading a minor-leaguer of any value for him.

Pete Mackanin has tried many things to spark the Phils' lineup, moving Herrera and Franco down, sitting guys, challenging guys. The best solution, perhaps the only solution right now, might be a move made over his head to promote the Phils' speedy, switch-hitting outfielder who has a future with them so long as he stays on the field, which he has this season.

As for Rhys Hoskins and Jorge Alfaro, who have also hit very well at Triple A, they just happen to play the same positions as Tommy Joseph and Cameron Rupp, who have been the Phillies' most reliable bats the last few weeks.

Jason Kelce ignoring trade rumors as he tries to work on himself

Jason Kelce ignoring trade rumors as he tries to work on himself

Jason Kelce is aware of the rumors and reports that have surrounded his name this offseason. 

As much as he might try to avoid them, the Eagles' veteran center does not, presumably, live under a rock. So he's heard for months about the possibility of his long run with the Eagles coming to a close. 

After all, the Eagles have stockpiled an abundance of interior offensive linemen who can play center, and trading Kelce would save the team $3.8 million in cap space. 

So it all makes sense, but Kelce is trying to keep it out of his mind. 

"I think you'll drive yourself crazy if you're reading too much into what's going on," he said on Tuesday as the Eagles kicked off their voluntary OTAs. "My whole offseason has just kind of been really the only thing I can control is my game and the way I play and what I've been doing. So I've just really tried to hit the weight room, work on technique, work on things to try to get my game back to where it used to be."

How is he able to put it out of his mind? 

"Because worrying about it doesn't do any good," he answered.

While the Eagles have Isaac Seumalo and Stefen Wisniewski ready to play center if necessary, head coach Doug Pederson said on Tuesday that Kelce is still "the guy." 

Kelce, 29, was named to his second career Pro Bowl team last season, which might be a surprise to those who watched the Eagles throughout the year. Kelce wasn't as bad as some people think, but he also probably wasn't a Pro Bowl-caliber player. 

He got off to a very slow start in 2016 but did seem to get better as the season went on.  

"I feel at times last year, there were times I was dominant and games where I didn't really do a great job," he said. "You go back and watch film and try to make the corrections, try to make sure that moving forward I'm the same player I was in the past."

Kelce attributed many of his problems early last season to lousy technique. He's been trying extra hard to work on that part of his game as well as in the weight room. 

Often characterized as undersized, he said weighed 295 pounds on Tuesday morning. That's also his listed weight on the Eagles' website. 

All last season, Kelce said he played in the 290s, which was heavier than he had been in a long time. His goal this offseason is to make it up to 300 pounds by training camp, and then he hopes to keep the weight on. 

"I would certainly think so," he said. "As you get older, it gets a little bit easier to put on the weight and hold it on. I think everybody kind of finds that out."

Perhaps the biggest reason for the Eagles to keep Kelce around this season is the development of quarterback Carson Wentz in his second year. Kelce, as his center, might be integral to Wentz's growth. Although Kelce said he doesn't think of it like that when asked if that relationship gives him an advantage over others.  

Kelce has been with the Eagles since 2011 when he was a sixth-round pick out of Cincinnati. He's played and started 78 games in six seasons. 

He admitted last season he needed to play better or he knew he would become expendable (see story). So the rumors and reports this season likely aren't a shock to him. 

He's still not going to pay attention to them. 

"The reality is, we always have guys coming in, coming out," he said. "Now we happen to have a lot of really good depth at interior line. But like I said, it doesn't do me any good worrying about the what-ifs. All I can control is what I can control and that's how I go out and play, how I go out and prepare and how I try to get back to the player I've been in the past."