Warriors general manager Bob Myers was still sporting his scruffy free agent beard. His eyes still told of the diligence it took to land once-All-Star swingman Andre Iguodala.
He all but gave up on the hope several times. But then he worked out a little front-office magic.
"We feel like he's the missing piece of the puzzle for this team," Myers said. "It's a thrill."
All along, Myers said, Iguodala was their guy. Yes, they chased the Dwight Howard pipe dream. No, they didn't have an abundance of salary cap space to lure Iguodala. But the entire time, they had one guy they knew could take them from last season's Cinderella to next season's contender.
And the 6-foot-6, 207-pound swingman viewed the Warriors the same way. At 29 and entering his 10th season, Iguodala said he's looking for a new level. He's ready to spend his prime in a place that can maximize what he has left.
And by the time Golden State finished off a first-round upset of the Denver Nuggets, Iguodala knew exactly the place.
"Wasn't happy that we lost," Iguodala said. "But at the same time, you saw kind of something brewing in their unit. And their core guys are still really young. ... That core is only going to get better and I could see them growing and they're going to be scary. ... I've been through a lot of playoffs series and I've been in big games in the world championships and been able to play alongside some of the best players in the world at the Olympics. Being able to add that piece to this team ... is going to be great."