Warriors’ Andre Iguodala returns for 19th and final NBA season: ‘Steph, this is the last’

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iguodala g Warriors' Andre Iguodala returns for 19th and final NBA season: 'Steph, this is the last'

Veteran forward Andre Iguodala is returning to the Golden State Warriors for his 19th and final season in the NBA, he announced Friday. 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 determined to return for one more season.

“I’m going to blame some people,” Iguodala said. “I’ll blame Steph Curry as an individual. I’ll blame Draymond as a team [Green]Steph and Clay [Thompson], [Warriors head coach] Steve Kerr a bit and [Warriors GM] Bob Myers. They really showed me a lot of love. They really helped me see who I was outside of physically playing basketball, but Steve was a huge offender in terms of ‘hear what we really need you on the court’. Draymond was big on that too, and we texted.”

I came back last year to make sure we got it right, as in, “We won’t waste Steph’s years.” We won the chip and I was like, ‘OK.’ And he was like, ‘No I want you to go back to someone else.’ I’m telling you right now, Steph, this is the last one.”

Iguodala, 38, has spent seven seasons with the Warriors in his two stints with the club. He first arrived in 2013 and helped the team win three titles in four seasons during the 2010s dynasty. He was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in 2019 due to salary cap concerns, but did not play there. He spent two seasons in Miami before returning to the Warriors last season after the Heat forced his way. Despite being hampered by injuries along the way, he played spot minutes in the Finals as the Warriors won another championship.

Assuming he stays healthy, Iguodala will play more than the 38 total games he appeared in last season; His defensive versatility is even more valuable and he brings invaluable experience from years of playing alongside the center. At the same time, it is clear that he is transitioning into a mentoring role, which he acknowledged in his announcement.

“I don’t know how to be one foot in, one foot out,” Iguodala said. “As for the match, I’m going to come in early, get my reps, I’m looking forward to playing, but I’m going to be normal. [Jonathan] Kuminga, I’m on Moses Moody, I’m on the young guys, I’m letting them know, ‘Listen, if I get on this court you’re not doing something right. I cannot be allowed to come to 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 begin in earnest on October 18 against the Los Angeles Lakers.

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