"I knew it was going to be hard for them to pick the final three guys," said Iguodala, who was joined by the Clippers' Blake Griffin and the Thunder's James Harden as the final three on the roster. "But I think I understood what they wanted and what's needed. I just played my game and left my mark out there on the court."
Ultimately, it was Iguodala's versatility that secured his spot on the roster. USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said that while Iguodala might have been flying under the media's radar, he and the coaching staff never lost track of him.
"He's a defensive stopper and he can grind from anywhere on the floor," Colangelo said, in explaining the decision to keep Iguodala over Rudy Gay or Eric Gordon, who were teammates of Iguodala on the gold-medal world championships team in 2010. "He can play multiple positions and that's why he made this team."
But with the security of a roster spot comes some major adjustments. Iguodala has been a starter for his entire 8-year NBA career and was a starter on the 2010 world championships team. Now, he will be asked to come off the bench, accept a smaller role than what he is accustomed to, plus deal with the pressure that comes from having limited opportunities to produce.
"It will definitely be an adjustment for me," Iguodala said. "That's why it's going to be good to play in these exhibition games. It'll give me a chance to get comfortable in this role and jell with the other guys."
There are five exhibitions scheduled, starting Thursday vs. the Dominican Republic at UNLV. Team USA is scheduled to open with France at the London Games, on July 29.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski said he envisions Iguodala doing several things for Team USA.
"We may have him guard a point guard or we may use him as an attacking wing on offense," Krzyzewski said. "When I coached Andre in 2010, I tried to use him in a variety of spots and situations and I envision that being the same with this team.
“He does so many things well and his basketball IQ is so high, I feel very comfortable wherever we decide to use him."
Because of his revised role with Team USA, Iguodala won't have the luxury of settling in and finding his rhythm. He will have to produce right away once he checks in at the scorer's table.
"It's probably more of a mental than physical thing," he said. "You've got to stay ready. Also, it's a 40-minute game in the Olympics, not 48 like in the NBA, so you don't have as much time to get comfortable. You don't have the luxury of finding your second wind."
Working in Iguodala's favor is that he played with half of his teammates on this year's Olympic team from back in 2010. He knows what Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Tyson Chandler and Kevin Love like to do on the floor and he isn't worried about fitting in with Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams — the returnees from the team that won the Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games.
"It won't be a problem," Iguodala said. "We're all working toward a common goal, bringing home another gold medal. I can adjust."
The fact he has equity and familiarity with the national-team program and Krzyzewski's coaching should also help make the transition easier even though he will need to learn the intricacies of two or three positions.
"The sets are pretty much basic basketball sets," he said, referring to the team's Olympic playbook. "We're running a lot of stuff that's similar to what we ran in '10, only the language is different.
“But for me, my job is to be a basketball player for this team. I have to be ready to contribute offensively as well as defensively. I need to make sure I run the floor, be in position to score when they need me to, knock down open shots and hold my man on defense.
“Guarding a scorer is my comfort level. But I've guarded point guards before. I had to guard [the Spurs'] Tony Parker, for instance. I can adjust if they need me to. Whatever they need, I'm ready." n