OAKLAND – The essence of the question posed to Warriors coach Mark Jackson on Wednesday was fairly reasonable and undoubtedly one worthy of thought.
How does 29-year-old Warriors swingman Andre Iguodala compare, as a player, to former Chicago Bulls great Scottie Pippen?
Jackson, having faced Pippen during their playing careers, paused before letting out a slight snicker. He cracked a joke about how Pippen grabbed and held opponents. Then the coach got serious.
"He's a Hall of Fame player," Jackson began. "Andre is still working on his resume to be even put in that class. I don't want to do Scottie a disservice.
"I'm thrilled to death to have Andre and the things he does on the basketball floor to put us in position to win. I love him as a player. You can see the similarities.
"But let's wait until (Iguodala) fills up his resume like Scottie has."
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The Pippen-Iguodala comparison was raised in a lengthy feature of Iguodala posted on another web site (ESPN). Iguodala, raised in Illinois, was a Bulls fan as a youngster. And as much as he loved Michael Jordan, young Andre was particularly fascinated with Scottie.
"I watched Scottie and MJ, the whole team – B. J. Armstrong, John Paxson, Ron Harper – all the teams in the '90s," Iguodala said.
The Pippen-Iguodala comparison makes sense. Both are about 6-foot-6, long, slender, sneakily athletic and uniquely versatile. Both are dangerous as scorers but take particular pride in defending multiple positions. Both specialize in some of the subtle things not accounted for in the box score or visible to the untrained eye.
Moreover, both are comfortable enough with themselves to fill any role in pursuit of winning.
When informed of Jackson's grabbing and holding remark, Iguodala fired back in his own good-natured way.
"I was a biased Bulls fan," the 10th-year veteran said with a grin. "I thought it was just great defense."