Is Andre Iguodala’s return for a 19th season good news for the Golden State Warriors?
Apparently not ready to call time on his career, the veteran has apparently slipped in to the role of mentor as well, which can only be good for the Warriors.
The Warriors will no doubt be pleased to see the return of a player brings with him a wealth of experience and the kind of grit that championships are built on.
Andre Iguodala ‘blames’ Curry and Co. for Warriors return
According to an announcement that he himself made, veteran forward Andre Iguodala will be on the Golden State Warriors’ roster for his 19th and final season in the NBA. Speaking during a special episode of his “Point Forward” podcast, alongside former player Evan Turner, Iguodala admitted that he was “retired for most of the summer,” but was convinced to come back for one more season.
“I’m gonna blame a few people,” Iguodala said. “Steph Curry is one person I’m gonna blame. As a group I’m blaming Draymond [Green], Steph and Klay [Thompson], [Warriors head coach] Steve Kerr a little bit and [Warriors GM] Bob Myers. They just really showed me a lot of love. They really helped me see my presence outside of physically playing basketball, but also Steve was a big culprit in terms of ‘listen we really need you on the court.’ Draymond was big on that as well, we were texting. ...I came back last year to make sure we got this s--- right, like ‘we not gonna waste Steph’s years.’ We won the chip and I was like ‘alright.’ And he was like ‘nope I need you back for another one.’ I’m letting you know right now, Steph, this is the last one.”
What do the Warriors have in Andre Iguodala?
At 38-years-old, Iguodala has collectively played seven seasons for the Warriors between two different periods with the franchise. When he first arrived back in 2013, a better script couldn’t have been written, as Golden State would go on to win three titles in four seasons during their ‘dynasty’ years in the 2010s. Following their success, the Warriors - due to salary cap constraints - would then trade Iguodala to the Memphis Grizzlies in 2019, but the veteran wouldn’t feature in a single game. From there, he’d force his way to the Miami Heat where he ended up spending two seasons before finally returning ‘home’ to the Warriors. Unfortunately, repeated injuries hindered his homecoming, but he did get on the court at intervals during the Warriors’ championship winning appearance in the NBA Finals this year.
Andre Iguodala the mentor
Here’s the thing: If Iguodala can maintain fitness, he will likely play more than the 38 total games that he contributed to last season. Aside from his obvious defensive prowess, there is a reservoir of knowledge and experience which makes him invaluable as a mentor - something he seems happy to acknowledge.
“I don’t know how to be one foot in, one foot out,” Iguodala said. “In terms of competing I’m gonna be naturally myself in terms of I’m gonna be there early, I’m gonna get my reps. I’m looking forward to playing, but also I’m on [Jonathan] Kuminga, I’m on Moses Moody, I’m on the young fellas and I’m letting them know, ‘listen, if I’m getting on this court you ain’t doing something right. There’s no way you should let me get on the court.’” Iguodala and his teammates will have their first chance to gel later this month, when the Warriors head to Tokyo where they will play the Washington Wizards in the NBA’s Global Games Series, before beginning their title defense on October 18th against the Los Angeles Lakers.