DENVER (AP) — Andre Iguodala says he doesn't want Denver to be just a stopover. The Nuggets wholeheartedly agree.
The Nuggets acquired the All-Star swingman from Philadelphia in the blockbuster trade that sent Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Iguodala is under contract for this season with a player option for 2013-14. At his introductory news conference at the Pepsi Center on Thursday, he said he told Nuggets general manager Masai Ujiri he wants to be here a while.
"We weren't coming into this thinking this will be a one-year deal," Iguodala said. "... This is definitely a place that I can see myself for more than just a year or two."
Ujiri said he'll work on an extension this upcoming season for the defensive-minded star who helped the U.S. win the gold medal at the London Olympics.
The Nuggets traded key contributors Al Harrington and Arron Afflalo to Orlando as part of the deal that involved four teams, 12 players and five draft picks.
Iguodala said he sought out Carmelo Anthony while in London to ask him about Denver and coach George Karl.
Don't worry, Nuggets fans, Melo didn't rip his old coach.
"He said I would be a perfect fit for Coach Karl. We two would really gel together," Iguodala recounted.
Iguodala knows Melo and Karl had their moments, both good and bad, together.
"It's the nature of basketball sometimes, every player and coach are going to have run-ins. George Karl made him a better player and Melo made him a better coach," Iguodala said. "He had nothing but good things to say about Coach Karl. Seattle was my favorite team growing up so I know a little bit about Coach Karl and his history. He's one of the best coaches in the game, well-respected by much of his peers and much of his players."
When Iguodala spoke with Karl by phone, the coach "didn't sugarcoat anything," telling the All-Star he needed to get to the line more and knock down his free throws, Iguodala said.
"Iggy" is Karl's kind of guy: versatile, tough. He plays lockdown defense and darts upcourt in transition with equal enthusiasm.