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 is the team’s 14th roster heading into training camp. According to Iguodala, this will be his last season.
“I’m going to blame a few people,” Iguodala joked on his podcast of his decision to play another season. “Steph Curry is a person I will blame. But as a group I blame Steph, Draymond (Green) and Klay (Thompson). Steve (Kerr), a little, Bob Myers, I think they just showed me a lot of love. They helped me see my presence outside of the physical basketball game, but I also think Steve was a big culprit of, ‘We really need you on the court.’ Draymond was great at that, too.”
The Warriors had kept Iguodala’s roster spot for him all offseason, trying not to pressure him into making a decision. Warriors general manager Bob Myers said he couldn’t think of any deals over the summer that would have prompted him to rush Iguodala.
Iguodala said he was “retired for most of the summer,” but after discussions with his teammates, Warriors associates and 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 with a disc injury. But for the Warriors, Iguodala’s role extends well beyond the court.
“He does so much that’s not on the court and he does a lot on the court as well,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said in a news conference Thursday. “And it’s really hard to find that kind of stability and leadership in a team that he brings. Even for Steve and I, I can talk to Andre, he just knows. He’s really smart. He knows our team. He’s a real pro. 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 to be around.”
“I’m looking forward to playing but I’m on (Jonathan) Kuminga, Moses Moody,” said Iguodala. “I’m on the youngsters and I let them know if I come on this pitch you’re not doing something right. There is no way you should allow me to come onto the pitch.”
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 put it on after that, but the Finals MVP told his teammate that he needed him back.
“I’ll let you know, Steph,” Iguodala said, looking directly at the camera. “This is the last one.”