Lessons from Aaron McKie: how to be a good teammate & how to stop LeBron James

aaron-mckieEach player on an NBA team has his own specific role, his own shoes to fill in. There are stars, those who assist stars, and those who are tasked to defend the stars.

Andre Iguodala from the Golden State Warriors was tasked to guard the NBA’s best player LeBron James in the 2014-2015 NBA finals. He did his job the best he could. The Warriors took game 1 from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“I thought he was fantastic,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said about Iguodala after the win. “You know, Andre is one of the smartest defenders I’ve ever seen. He understands angles, he understands where everybody is on the floor.”

Iquodala in turn said that tips and advice from his former teammate, retired NBA star Aaron McKie helped him a lot, CSNPhilly reported.

“”I learned this early in my career from real vets — like, Aaron McKie was my real vet, he played against Kobe [Bryant] in the Finals in 2001 with Philly,” Iguodala said during an NBA TV interview after the game.”

Iguodala went on to recall what McKie was saying to him.

“”He would always say, ‘Listen, you’re not going to stop these guys. These guys are going to get their points. People come to see them play. They’re going to get to the foul line. They’re going to get in rhythm every single night. The key to it is making it as hard for them as possible, making them take tough jump shots, contest everything and hopefully they’ll miss. And, every once in a while, try to get a steal, try to get a tip. Throw them off-rhythm.”

Andre Iquodala wasn’t the only one praising Aaron Mckie. When Philadelphia legend Allen Iverson was retiring, he credited McKie for influencing him more than any other teammate.

“Aaron McKie,” Iverson said and he repeated the name three more times. “I mean he was my teammate but he was on another level. He was my teammate but he was my friend.”

Iverson paused long and hard in between his thoughts, fighting back tears.

“He helped me so much in my career,” Iverson said. “I talk about the mistakes that I made in my career. I made a million of them, but if it weren’t for Aaron McKie I would have made two million of them. He is just somebody I always listened to and could talk to about anything.”

Aaron McKie spent 13 seasons in the NBA, playing for Portland TrailBlazers, Detroit Pistons, Philadelphia 76ers and LA Lakers.

He played in a total of 793 NBA games (started 287), averaging 7.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg and 2.7 apg in 24.2 mpg.

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