Tue. Nov 29th, 2022

Veteran forward Andre Iguodala is returning to the Golden State Warriors for his 19th and final season in the NBA, he announced on Friday in a special episode of his “Point Forward” podcast with former player Evan Turner. Iguodala admitted he was “retired for most of the summer” but was convinced to come back for one more season. 

“I’m gonna blame a few people,” Iguodala said. “Steph Curry is one person I’m gonna blame. As a group I’m blaming Draymond [Green], Steph and Klay [Thompson], [Warriors head coach] Steve Kerr a little bit and [Warriors GM] Bob Myers. They just really showed me a lot of love. They really helped me see my presence outside of physically playing basketball, but also Steve was a big culprit in terms of ‘listen we really need you on the court.’ Draymond was big on that as well, we were texting.”

“I came back last year to make sure we got this s— right, like ‘we not gonna waste Steph’s years.’ We won the chip and I was like ‘alright.’ And he was like ‘nope I need you back for another one.’ I’m letting you know right now, Steph, this is the last one.”

Iguodala, 38, has spent seven seasons with the Warriors during his two stints with the club. He first arrived in 2013 and helped the team win three titles in four seasons during their dynastic reign of the 2010s. Due to salary cap concerns he was then traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in 2019 but never played there. After forcing his way to the Heat he spent two seasons in Miami before returning to the Warriors last season. Though hampered by injuries along the way, he did play spot minutes in the Finals as the Warriors won another championship. 

Assuming he remains healthy, Iguodala will play more than the 38 total games he appeared in last season; his defensive versatility is still valuable and he brings invaluable experience from having played alongside this core for so many years. At the same time, it’s clear he’s transitioning into more of a mentor role, something he acknowledged in his announcement. 

“I don’t know how to be one foot in, one foot out,” Iguodala said. “In terms of competing I’m gonna be naturally myself in terms of I’m gonna be there early, I’m gonna get my reps. I’m looking forward to playing, but also I’m on [Jonathan] Kuminga, I’m on Moses Moody, I’m on the young fellas and I’m letting them know, ‘listen, if I’m getting on this court you ain’t doing something right. There’s no way you should let me get on the court.'”

Later this month, the Warriors will travel to Tokyo for two preseason games against the Washington Wizards as part of the NBA’s Global Games series. Their title defense will then start in full at home on Oct. 18 against the Los Angeles Lakers. 

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