Andre Iguodala will return to play his 19th season in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors, the veteran announced on his PointForward podcast Friday morning.
His return fills the team’s 14th roster spot heading into training camp. According to Iguodala, this will be his final season.
“I’m going to blame a few people,” Iguodala joked on his podcast about his decision to play another season. “Steph Curry is one person I am going to blame. But as a group, I am blaming 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 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 as well.”
The Warriors held Iguodala’s roster spot for him all offseason, trying not to put pressure on him to make a decision. Warriors general manager Bob Myers said no deals came to him over the summer that made them 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 return.
Last season, Iguodala averaged four points on 30 percent 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 missed a month of the playoffs due to a cervical disc injury. But for the Warriors, Iguodala’s role stretches far beyond the court.
“There’s so much that he does that isn’t on the court and there’s a lot he does on the court, too,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said in a press conference on Thursday. “And it’s really hard to find that 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.”
“I’m looking forward to playing, but I’m on (Jonathan) Kuminga, Moses Moody,” Iguodala said. “I am on the young fellas and I’m letting them know if I get on this court, you ain’t doing something right. No way you should allow me to get on the court.”
Iguodala said he returned to Golden State last year to help the team with their 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 directly into the camera. “This is the last one.”