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 is the team’s 14th ranked heading into training camp. According to Iguodala, this will be his last season.
“I want to blame a few people,” Iguodala joked about his decision. “Steph Curry is one person I’m going to blame. But as a group I blame Steph, Draymond [Green] and Clay [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 I also think Steve was a big culprit of, “We really need you on the court.” Draymond was big on that, too.”
The Warriors had held Iguodala’s roster spot for him all offseason and didn’t try to pressure him into making a decision. Myers, the Warriors’ general manager, said no deals came his way over the summer that made the team feel the need to rush Iguodala.
Iguodala said he was “retired for most of the summer,” but after conversations with his teammates, Warriors staff 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, then a month of the playoffs with a left cervical disc injury. But for the Warriors, Iguodala’s role extends far beyond the court.
“There’s so much he does that’s off the field, and there’s a lot he does on the field, too,” Myers said at a news conference Thursday. “And it’s really hard to find the 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 you.”
“I’m looking forward to playing, but I’m moving on [Jonathan] Kuminga, Moses Moody,” Iguodala said on the podcast. “I’m on the young guys and I’m telling them if I get on the field, you’re not doing anything right. There’s no way you should allow me to come onto the field.”
Iguodala said he returned to Golden State last year to help the team to 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 back.
“I’m telling you, Steph,” Iguodala said, looking directly into the camera. “This is the last one.”