Andre Iguodala returns to play his 19th NBA season with the Golden State Warriors, the veteran announced Friday morning in his podcast Point Forward.
His return fills the team’s 14th roster spot en route to training camp. According to Iguodala, this will be his last season.
“I’m going to blame a few people,” Iguodala joked about his decision. “Steph Curry is a person I’m going to blame. But as a group I blame 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 physical 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 onto Iguodala’s roster for him all through the offseason, trying not to pressure him into making a decision. Myers, the general manager of the Warriors, said he failed to get any deals last summer that left the team feeling the need to rush Iguodala.
Iguodala said he was “retired for most of the summer”, but after talks with his teammates, Warriors staffers and his family, he decided to return.
Last season, Iguodala averaged four points with 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 field.
“There’s so much he does that isn’t on the field and there’s also a lot he does on the field,” Myers said at a news conference on Thursday. “And it’s really hard to find that kind of stability and leadership in a team that he brings. Even for Steve and myself I can go and talk to Andre, he just knows. He’s really smart. He knows our team. He’s a true professional “He understands the competition. He has seen a lot. He has played in I don’t know how many finals, it’s crazy. He’s someone you like to have with you.”
“I’m looking forward to playing, but I’m out [Jonathan] Kuminga, Moses Moody,” Iguodala said in the podcast. “I’m with the young guys and I’m letting them know if I get on this field, you’re doing something wrong. Under no circumstances may you allow me to appear in court.”
Iguodala said he returned to Golden State last year to help the team win its fourth title in eight years and cement Curry’s legacy. Iguodala was ready to hang it afterward, but the Finals MVP told his teammate he needed him again.
“I’ll let you know, Steph,” Iguodala said, looking straight into the camera. “This is the last.”