Andre Iguodala He 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 fills the 14th place for the team heading to training camp. According to Iguodala, this will be his last season.
“I will blame a few people,” Iguodala joked about his decision. “Steve Curry is someone I blame. But as a group, I blame Steve and Draymond [Green] and my kidneys [Thompson]. Steve [Kerr] Little, Bob Myers, I think they showed me a lot of love. They helped me see my presence outside of the physical playing of basketball, but also, I think Steve was the big culprit, “We really need you on the court.” Draymond was big on that, too.”
The warriors had held Iguodala’s position on the list for him the entire time, trying not to pressure him into making a decision. Myers, the Warriors general manager, said no deals were reached over the summer that made the team feel the need to speed up Iguodala.
Iguodala said he “retired most of the summer,” but after talks with his teammates, Warriors crew and family, he decided to return.
Last season, Iguodala averaged four points in 30% shooting, 3.7 assists and 3.2 rebounds in just 31 games. He missed all but six matches between January and the end of the regular season with various injuries, then a month of playoffs with a left cervical disc injury. But for warriors, Iguodala’s role extends far beyond the court.
“There’s a lot he does not in court and there’s a lot he does in court as well,” Myers said at a Thursday news conference. “And it’s really hard to find that kind of stability and leadership in the team that he brings. Even for Steve and I, I can talk to Andrei, he just knows. 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, he’s crazy. He’s someone you want.”
“I’m looking forward to playing, but I keep going [Jonathan] cominga, Moses Modi, “Iguodala said in the podcast.” I’m young and I know if you enter this court, you are doing nothing right. Under no circumstances can you let me enter the court.”
Iguodala said he returned to Golden State last year to help the team win their fourth title in eight years and cement Curry’s legacy. Iguodala was ready to put him on hold then, but the finals’ best player told his teammate he needed him again.
“I know, Steve,” Iguodala said, looking straight into the camera. “This is the last one.”