Yet despite all that, when Abreu was here, we talked about his lack of hustle and his failure to reach the postseason. Abreu came close in 2001 and 2005 as the Phillies finished two games back of first place, but the playoff drought waned on until the year after Abreu was traded. Two years later, the Phillies won their first World Series since 1980.
It's strange to think Abreu was known for his lack of hustle despite having two 30-30 seasons. Most of it came from his lolly-gagging out of the box and in the field. His comments about refusing to run into a wall to make a catch stuck with him throughout his career. When Aaron Rowand busted his nose making an incredible catch, he became a more beloved Phillie. The Phillies made right with Abreu by inducting him into the Wall of Fame in 2019, and Abreu still remains on the Hall of Fame ballot.
Andre Iguodala's greatness revealed itself after he left Philadelphia, but he certainly played well for the eight seasons he was here. Iggy never averaged 20 points per game in a season, yet his defense and hustle were on display every night. Yet Iguodala played in the shadow of Allen Iverson, the franchise player that took the Sixers to the Finals. The duo spent two and a half years together, and fans expected Iguodala to take the torch once Iverson was traded. Iggy never lived up to those expectations, and many viewed Iguodala as a bust.
The Sixers traded him to Denver and two years later, he signed a four-year deal with the Golden State Warriors and everything changed. Iggy raked up an Olympic Gold Medal, three championships, a Finals MVP and an All-Defensive selection. After 15 seasons, he is one of five players to total over 13,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, 4,500 assists, 1,500 steals, 500 blocks and 1,000 3-pointers. Outside of all of that, he was the glue for those Warrior teams, the veteran presence who defended ferociously and was clutch in big moments.
Ultimately, a role switch for Iguodala changed his career, but was he underappreciated when he was in Philadelphia?