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

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Veteran attacker Andre Iguodala returns to the Golden State Warriors for his 19th and final season in the NBAhe announced on Friday a special episode of his podcast “Point Forward” with former player Evan Turner. Iguodala admitted he was “retired for most of the summer” but was convinced to come back for another season.

“I’m going to blame a few people,” Iguodala said. “Steph Curry is a person I’m going to blame. As a group I blame Draymond [Green]Steph and Klay [Thompson], [Warriors head coach] Steve Kerr a little and [Warriors GM] Bob Myers. They just showed me a lot of love. They really helped me see my presence outside of physical basketball, but Steve was also a big culprit in terms of ‘listen, we really need you on the court’. Draymond was big on that too, we were texting.”

“I came back last year to make sure we got this right, like ‘we’re not going to waste Steph’s years’. We won the chip and I was like ‘okay.’ And he said ‘no, I need you for one more.’ I’ll let you know now, Steph, this is the last one.”

Iguodala, 38, has spent seven seasons with the Warriors during his two stints with the club. He first arrived in 2013 and helped the team win three titles in four seasons during their dynastic reign of the 2010s. Due to concerns over the salary cap, he was subsequently traded to the United States. Memphis Grizzlies in 2019 but never played there. After forcing his way into the Heat he spent two seasons in Miami before returning to the Warriors last season. Though hampered by injuries along the way, he did play minutes into the final as the Warriors won another championship.

Assuming he stays healthy, Iguodala will play more than the 38 games he played in total last season; his defensive versatility is still valuable and he brings invaluable experience from playing alongside this core for so many years. At the same time, it is clear that he is moving into a more mentoring role, something he acknowledged in his announcement.

“I don’t know how to be one foot in, one foot out,” Iguodala said. “In terms of competition, of course I will be myself in terms of I will be there early, I will get my reps. I am looking forward to playing, but I am also up [Jonathan] Kuminga, I’m in Moses Moody“I’m on the young guys and I let them know, ‘Listen, if I get on this field, you’re doing something wrong. You can’t let me get on the field in any way.'”

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 then start completely at home on October 18 against the Los Angeles Lakers.

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