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When Tony Parker agreed to do motion capture at Electronic Arts' Vancouver studio as part of his cover athlete duties, little did he know that he'd be used as a prop in an an impromptu dunk contest. That's right, Rudy Gay and Andre Iguodala were taking turns trying to one-up each other with self-alley-oops, windmills and reverse dunks, but AI had a plan to end the competition once and for all -- jump over Parker.
AI grabbed Parker and lead him onto the court facing the basket, but for some reason Tony wanted to see the dunk coming and refused to look away as Iguodala flew his direction. Unfortunately for Parker, AI didn't get as high as we hoped and Parker's forehead was the recipient of a package he didn't sign up for.
Parker laughed it off, but smartly wouldn't let AI try a second time. Instead they went back to capturing the motions, dribbles and shots that will end up as their signature moves in future NBA Live products.
When Iguodala took a break from trying to jump over cover athletes, he sat down with ESPN to talk video games, the Sixers, and trick shots.
ESPN: NBA Live 09 is going to update the player ratings on a daily basis based off your performance during the season. What are some of the ups and downs you go through during a season that the average fan might not realize that could possibly affect your ratings in the game?
Andre Iguodala: Every player goes through streaks where they're just not making their shots. It may last two games, it may last ten games, and a lot of times it's something off the court that is bothering you or coach might cut your minutes for some unknown reason. I think that's the difference between video games and life, you don't have those emotions in there. You can't tell what's going on with a player when he's in a slump. What's dope about the game, though, is that if you catch a hot streak, you can just keep replaying those days. You might have a friend who you are playing against all the time, and maybe you haven't won in a while, but if your favorite player goes through a hot streak in real life, then you can use that hot streak to turn things around in the game.
ESPN: They are tracking all of your tendencies in the game through Synergy Sports Technology this year. If I'm playing as you, what should I be on the lookout for?
Andre Iguodala: I'm good off pick-and-rolls. When Sam (Dalembert) sets a pick then dives, I can either get to the basket or throw a lob to him. And now, with Elton Brand, I've got a pick-and-pop guy I can hit for a jump shot. I've also been working on my post game, so I need to make sure they get this right in the game this year. Turnaround face-ups, jabs, and pull-ups. And then just being a great transition player. I'm not as fast in the game as I think I am. I'm pretty fast getting up and down the court, especially with Andre Miller.
ESPN: You mentioned your speed in the game, anything else about your video game character that bugs you?
Andre Iguodala: Last year they had my socks too high and the wrong shoes. I don't care about my speed rating, but I want my character to look good. That's more important to me. Get my socks a little lower and give me the right shoes. I really don't play with the Sixers too much in the game, but when I play against myself, I at least want my guy to look good. I don't want to stare at myself and not like what I see.
ESPN: What's your game setup like at home?
Andre Iguodala: I got all the systems but I find myself playing the Wii a lot right now. I play bowling, boxing, and baseball. But when I play against friends, we usually play Xbox 360. I used to be PlayStation only, but Xbox 360 is really cool so we play Live and Tiger. The Tiger game is probably one of my favorite games. We play a lot of NCAA Football too.
ESPN: Do you play online?
Andre Iguodala: I'll play against some of my teammates online but I won't play against people I don't know. I don't have enough time to practice and I don't want to get killed by some guy who just sits there and spends countless hours practicing.
ESPN: Do you hear from fans who are mad at you for missing too many shots in their video game or maybe someone who won some money because your character scored 50?
Andre Iguodala: We were just driving down Michigan Ave. in Chicago, that's my home, and some guy was like "Yo, Iguodala, that's you, right?" And I was like, "No, Iguodala's my brother." But he wouldn't let up and he was telling me: "I played you in the game last night. I know it's you. We won!" It was like the middle of the street at one o'clock in the morning and this guy is telling me how many games he wins on Xbox because of me. It was crazy.
ESPN: I've heard of a lot of players who bet big money on these video games. Ever lay down some cash on Live?
Andre Iguodala: We don't play for money, we play for bunks (raises his foot like he's about to kick me). Ever see Above the Rim? You lose a game, you get kicked in the butt. That's a bunk. So I'm kicking people's butts all the time.
ESPN: I've seen you at practice swishing shots from out of bounds while sitting on the bench. You got any new trick shots you've been working on?
Andre Iguodala: I've got one where I throw the ball off the side of the wall and try to make it in the hoop. I've got this other one I've been working on that C-Webb taught me where you try to bounce the ball in from half court. We're in the gym so much; you're always coming up with something crazy.
ESPN: What are your expectations this year for the 76ers?
Andre Iguodala: We're gunning for a title, definitely. Elton Brand is a guy who is going to give us our low post presence. We're a fast-paced team, and the scouting report on us is to try to slow us down and get us in a half-court set. Now we have Elton in there and we're going to be feeding him the ball. So now we're either going to burn you running or we're going to have Elton to beat you inside. We're going to be good in the video game, and hopefully we'll be even better in real life.