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-in is the team’s 14th roster spot heading into training camp. According to Iguodala, this will be his final season.
“I’m going to blame some people,” Iguodala joked about his decision. “Steph Curry is one person I will blame. But as a group, 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 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, too.”
The Warriors held Iguodala’s roster spot for him during the offseason, trying not to put pressure on him to make 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 the majority of the summer,” but after conversations with his teammates, Warriors staff members and his family, he decided to come back.
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 disc injury. But for the Warriors, Iguodala’s role extends far beyond the court.
“There’s so much he does that’s not on the court and there’s a lot he does on the court as well,” Myers said in a press conference Thursday. “And it’s really hard to find the kind of stability and leadership in 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 somebody you want around.”
“I’m looking forward to playing, but I’m working [Jonathan] come on Moses Moody,” Iguodala said on the podcast. “I’m with the young guys and I’m letting them know if I come on this court, you’re not doing anything right. There is no way you should allow me to enter the court.”
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 again.
“I’m letting you know, Steph,” Iguodala said, looking straight into the camera. “This is the last one.”