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:

Russell Wilson still affecting Eagles' decision making

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Russell Wilson still affecting Eagles' decision making

By now, most Eagles fans have probably heard stories that the team coveted Russell Wilson in the 2012 NFL draft, but waited too long and wound up watching helplessly as he went to the Seahawks. Doug Pederson was just an offensive quality control coordinator with back then, but even he realizes how losing out on a franchise quarterback altered the course of history.

“If we’d have drafted Russell Wilson in 2012, we’d still be here as coaches,” Pederson said with a smile.

That's what Pederson tells Albert Breer for TheMMQB.com, and there might be a bit of truth to it. Despite concerns over his stature, it turns out Wilson was an outstanding NFL signal-caller from the jump, and while he was surrounded with a dominant defense and ground attack, likely would've been a winner just about anywhere.

Actually, Wilson may not have been good enough to save Andy Reid's head coaching job in Philadelphia or his staff — after 14 years, it was time, and an offensive line depleted by injuries was the real reason behind a 4-12 season. Regardless, Pederson learned something from waiting too long on Wilson in the draft, and based on their aggressive move for Carson Wentz this year, the Eagles organization did too.

Simply enough, if you like a quarterback, Pederson says, “Take him. Take him. Take the best available one. If you’re not planning for the quarterback position, you’re probably not going to win many games.”

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“There’s a lesson there. Seattle, they felt like we did with Russell Wilson,” Pederson said. “We got Nick Foles right after that, and I love Nick Foles and think he’s gonna be a good quarterback in this league and do well for Kansas City. But if you’re not planning for that position …”

For as much criticism or questioning as the Eagles have faced for their plan at the quarterback position this year, "take him" certainly was not the issue. In addition to all of players and draft collateral they gave up for Wentz, they also invested large sums of money into current starter Sam Bradford and long-term backup Chase Daniel.

If you think Pederson and executive vice president of personnel Howie Roseman's experience of missing out on Wilson didn't play a role in those moves, the head coach made it quite clear to the contrary. While Eagles fans would prefer the known quantity and proven Super Bowl champion under center, you can't say this regime hasn't done everything in its power to erase that mistake.

NHL Notes: Panthers flip Dave Bolland's contract, prospect Lawson Crouse to Coyotes for picks

NHL Notes: Panthers flip Dave Bolland's contract, prospect Lawson Crouse to Coyotes for picks

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Arizona Coyotes have acquired prospect Lawson Crouse and veteran Dave Bolland's contract from the Florida Panthers for two draft picks.

Arizona sent a 2017 third-round pick and a conditional 2018 second-rounder that could become another 2017 third to Florida. The Coyotes are taking on the final three years of the injured Bolland's deal to pick up Crouse, the 11th pick in the 2015 draft.

Nagging injuries limited Bolland to 25 games last season, and the 30-year-old forward has three years left on his deal at a salary-cap hit of $5.5 million. But Arizona general manager John Chayka said Bolland isn't expected to play for the foreseeable future and could be placed on long-term injured reserve.

Crouse, 19, is a 6-foot-4 left winger who could make his NHL debut this fall.

Avalanche name Jared Bednar head coach
DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche have hired Jared Bednar as their new head coach.

Bednar replaces Patrick Roy, who abruptly stepped down as coach and vice president of hockey operations earlier this month.

The 44-year-old Bednar won the American Hockey League's Calder Cup championship as coach of the Lake Erie Monsters last season. He also won the ECHL's Kelly Cup in 2009 with the South Carolina Stingrays.

President of hockey operations and general manager Joe Sakic said upon Roy's sudden resignation that he'd look outside the organization for Colorado's next coach. He did just that with Bednar, who had been in the Columbus system.

Sidney Crosby named Canada's captain for World Cup of Hockey
Canada has chosen Sidney Crosby as its captain for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.

Crosby returns as Canada's captain after wearing the "C" for the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He's coming off his second Stanley Cup as captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews and Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber will serve as the alternates.

Crosby scored one of Canada's biggest goals in international history when he beat U.S. goaltender Ryan Miller to win the gold medal on home ice at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Now 29, he has two gold medals, two Cup rings and a Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

Canada begins training camp Sept. 5 in Ottawa. The World Cup begins Sept. 17 in Toronto (see full story).

Coyotes hire NHL's first female coach
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Coyotes have hired Dawn Braid as skating coach and say she is believed to be the first full-time female coach in NHL history.

Braid has a long association with the NHL.

She worked part-time for the Coyotes last year and has served as a skating consultant with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres and Calgary Flames.

Braid also spent seven years with the Athletes Training Center as director of skating development. Among the skaters she worked with while there is New York Islanders center John Tavares (see full story).

Big night in Columbus as rookies star for Union and Jim Curtin quotes Rasheed Wallace

Big night in Columbus as rookies star for Union and Jim Curtin quotes Rasheed Wallace

What’s the best way to respond to a controversial game-tying goal on the road?

If you said score the game-winner 62 seconds later, celebrate by shushing the crowd, and then quote Rasheed Wallace after the game, the Union agree with you. 

That’s what happened Wednesday night in Columbus as Crew SC were credited with scoring a second-half equalizer even though it looked like the ball may have been cleared off the line before it crossed (where’s goal-line technology when you really need it?). But before the cameras could even get back to the game, the Union charged down the field off the ensuing kickoff with Keegan Rosenberry scoring a very pretty goal to lift Philly to a 2-1 victory — and then put his finger to his mouth to quiet the crowd.

Watch the whole chaotic sequence here:

Remarkably, the goal was the second of the night for a Union rookie as Fabian Herbers scored the opener. Herbers got the start on the right wing in place of Ilsinho and another rookie, Joshua Yaro, started at center back instead of Ken Tribbett.

If you’re scoring at home, that’s three of the team’s top six picks from this year’s draft all starting together (for just the second time ever) and two of of them scoring.

That was certainly an exciting development for Curtin, who praised the rookie trio for growing up in a hurry before touting Rosenberry as an MLS Rookie of the Year frontrunner.

But none of those comments were as good as when Curtin quoted fellow Philadelphian Rasheed Wallace for the karmic retribution that happened after Crew SC’s controversial goal.

“It’s a true Philadelphia-type team — blue-collar, tough, doesn’t let adversity get in the way,” Curtin said. “And I guess in words of Rasheed Wallace, the ball doesn’t lie.

Then, after completing the season sweep of Crew SC, the Union coach added a little insult to injury.

“You guys won’t get that in Columbus but the ball does not lie.”

Hear that, Columbus? ’Sheed is ours.