Andre Iguodala will return to play his 19th NBA season with the Golden State Warriors, the veteran announced on his “Point Forward” podcast Friday morning.
His return is 14th place on the team heading into training camp. According to Iguodala, this will be his last season.
“I’m going to blame a few people,” Iguodala joked of his decision. “Steph Curry is someone I’m going to blame. But as a band, I blame Steph, Draymond [Green] and Clay [Thompson]. Steve [Kerr] kinda, Bob Myers, I think they just showed me a lot of love. They helped me see my presence outside of physical basketball, but also, I think Steve was a big culprit of, ‘We really need you on the court.’ Draymond was also big on it. »
The Warriors had held Iguodala’s spot for him all offseason, trying not to pressure him into making a decision. Myers, the Warriors general manager, said no deal was reached for him over the summer, which would have made the team feel the need to rush Iguodala.
Iguodala said he was “retired for most of the summer,” but after conversations with teammates, Warriors staff members and his family, he decided to return.
Last season, Iguodala averaged four points on 30 percent shooting, 3.7 assists and 3.2 rebounds in just 31 games. He missed all but six games between January and the end of the regular season due to various injuries, then one month in the playoffs due to a left cervical disc injury. But for the Warriors, Iguodala’s role extends far beyond the field.
“There’s so many things he does that aren’t on the court and there’s a lot he does on the court as well,” Myers said at a press conference Thursday. “And it’s really hard to find that kind of stability and leadership in a team that he brings. Even for Steve and myself, I can go talk to Andre, he knows that. He’s really smart. He knows our team. He’s a real professional. . He understands the league. He’s seen a lot. He’s played in I don’t know how many finals, it’s crazy. He’s someone we want to be around.”
“I can’t wait to play, but I’m sure [Jonathan] Kuminga, Moses Moody,” Iguodala said on the podcast. “I’m on the young guys and let them know if I get on that pitch, you’re not doing something right. Under no circumstances should you allow me to enter the field.”
Iguodala said he returned to Golden State last year to help the team win its fourth title in eight years and cement Curry’s legacy. Iguodala was ready to hang up after that, but the Finals MVP told his teammate he needed him again.
“I’m warning you, Steph,” Iguodala said, looking directly at the camera. “This is the last.”