Golden State Warrior and 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala had a big decision to make during his free agency in 2013. Should he come to the Bay Area to play basketball and establish another life outside of basketball? Or should he pursue other offers?
The Bay Bridge is the link between Oakland, California, where one of the NBA's top teams plays ball, and San Francisco, a hub of the tech world. Over the last four years, Iguodala has connected both worlds. Part of it started while he was playing for the Denver Nuggets. Sitting courtside at the games were the same tech execs he'd read about on the internet.
"You meet some people good and bad. You meet the wrong people but it teaches you a lesson," he said. "You meet the right people and you try to listen to their advice and take what they have to say close to heart and work as hard as possible at that and try to build on it."
Now he has direct lines to Ben Horowitz, co-founder of VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, and Eddy Cue, Apple's senior VP of software and services. Both sit courtside at Warriors games.
Iguodala has embedded himself into Silicon Valley and he's bringing his knowledge from the tech world to the NBA. In 2016, he led the very first NBA Player's Association Technology Summit to educate players, connect them with the technology companies and help them build investments for life after basketball.
We sat down with Iguodala to talk about tech. We discuss what he looks for when he's investing in tech startups, his social media game and what gets him caught up on Facebook. Since his arrival to the Bay Area, he's invested in over 15 tech companies that are involved in e-commerce and wearable tech, but we put him to the test and asked, "Would Andre invest?"
Social media is a power platform and Iguodala has fun with it. But what did his "Nah B" tweet really mean right after he went to visit Kevin Durant alongside Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green to convince him to join the Warriors.
Iguodala's a free agent after this season but he's deeply connected to the Bay Area.
"For me, I'm in a beautiful place, my family loves it here, we all enjoy it. So for me to just take it day by day. And let it happen how it was supposed to happen," he said.
And as for his future with Silicon Valley.
"It's still something I'm learning each and every day, something I'm enjoying. And it's been a great ride and hopefully I can continue for a very long time. "