Andre Iguodala will return to play his 19th season in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors, the veteran announced on his “Point Forward” podcast Friday morning.
His return fill’s the team’s 14th roster spot heading into training camp. According to Iguodala, this will be his final season.
“I’m going to blame a few people,” Iguodala joked about his decision. “Steph Curry is one person I am going to blame. But as a group, I am blaming Steph, Draymond [Green] and Klay [Thompson]. Steve [Kerr] a little bit, Bob Myers, I think they just showed me a lot of love. They helped me see my presence outside of physically playing basketball, but also, I think Steve was a big culprit of, ‘We really need you on the court.’ Draymond was big on that as well.”
The Warriors had hero Iguodala’s roster spot for him all offseason, trying not to put pressure on him to make to a decision. Myers, the Warriors’ general manager, said no deals came to him over the summer that made the team feel the need to rush Iguodala.
Iguodala said he was “retired for the majority of the summer,” but after conversations with his teammates, Warriors staff members and his family, he decided to return.
Last season, Iguodala averaged four points on 30% 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 with various injuries, and then a month of the playoffs with a left cervical disk injury. But for the Warriors, Iguodala’s role stretches far beyond the court.
“There’s so much that he does that is not on the court and there’s a lot he does on the court, too,” Myers said at a news conference Thursday. “And it’s really hard to find that kind of stability and leadership on a team that he brings. Even for Steve and myself, I can go talk to Andre, he just knows. He’s really smart. He knows our team. He’s a true 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 you want around.”
“I’m looking forward to playing, but I am on [Jonathan] Kuminga, Moses Moody,” Iguodala said on the podcast. “I am on the young fellas and I’m letting them know if I get on this court, you ain’t doing something right. No way you should allow me to get on the court.”
Iguodala said he returned to Golden State last year to help the team with its fourth title in eight years and cement Curry’s legacy. Iguodala was ready to hang it up after that, but the Finals MVP told his teammate he needed him again.
“I’m letting you know, Steph,” Iguodala said, looking directly into the camera. “This is the last one.”