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Andre Iguodala is coming back to the Warriors

Iguodala is coming back for his 19th season, but don’t worry! He’ll still be podcasting.

2022 NBA Finals - Game One
Andre Iguodala’s decision to come back was a slam dunk.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Andre Iguodala is a four-time NBA champion, an NBA Finals MVP, a best-selling author, a successful venture capitalist, a podcaster, and - for at least one more season - a member of the Golden State Warriors. And where else would a member of the Warriors announce he was coming back for a 19th NBA season than a podcast?

The Warriors had privately been confident that Andre would come back to the team, but on a “special announcement” episode of the Point Forward Podcast, Andre made it official:

“I myself will be returning for my 19th season. And ET (Evan Turner) and I will be returning to the NBA throughout the season on the road to perform our Point Forward duties, our Point Forward responsibilities, and to give you access to what’s going on in the NBA.”

This will be Iguodala’s 19th season in the league and his 8th with Golden State. He originally signed with the team in 2013, where he made five consecutive trips to the NBA Finals and won three titles. The team dealt Iguodala to Memphis in a purely financial move in the summer of 2019 - the Warriors were hard-capped after acquiring D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade with Kevin Durant. Iguodala never played for Memphis, who eventually flipped him to the Miami Heat, who made the Finals as well. That’s six straight Finals appearances, more than anyone in NBA history besides LeBron James, James Jones, or Bill Russell’s Celtics teammates.

Andre “blamed a few people” - Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Steve Kerr, and Bob Myers - for showing him so much love and convincing him to return. “My brothers pulled me back in,” he concluded.

Iguodala returned to the Warriors last summer, and promptly made the Finals again, though injuries limited him to 31 games. Still, he was a valuable veteran off the bench and a key influence on the Warriors’ young core. He’ll be the NBA’s second-oldest player, turning 39 next January, behind only Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat. Haslem essentially has a player-coach position, mainly there to impart his wisdom and promote Heat Culture. And, as in a memorable game against the Warriors last year, fight Jimmy Butler.

It’s highly unlikely that Andre has to fight anyone next year, but it’s equally unlikely that he’ll ever play more than 20 minutes in a game, or suit up in back-to-back games. But he does provide some much-needed ballhandling from his point forward position, and tends to settle down the defense when he plays with the reserves. Iguodala is also essentially a coach himself, whether he’s in uniform or not, lobbying officials and telling Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga where to stand on defense. Plus, when he has to, he can throw it down.

And throw unbelievable passes.

Having Iguodala is an incredible luxury for the Warriors, who have done enough good work finding depth in free agency (JaMychal Green, Donte DiVincenzo) and the draft (Moody, Kuminga, Jordan Poole) that they don’t need Andre to provide minutes - it’s just really nice that he’s available. Andre did add that he’s telling Kuminga and Moody, “If I get on this court, you ain’t doing something right.”

Iguodala started his podcast this March, along with former Philadlephia 76ers teammate Evan Turner, recording episodes that included live reactions to playoffs games during the Warriors title run. Sure, he wants to win another championship with the Warriors (and pass LeBron!), but it’s also much better for his podcast numbers to be an active player. Otherwise, he’s no different than J.J. Redick!

Turner said that Draymond “ruined the idea of a farewell tour” when he shredded Paul Pierce, but Andre said he wanted to enjoy the NBA cities in his last year more than usual - museums, restaurants - “bus rides, plane rides with the fellas.” He also didn’t want to waste any of Steph’s dominant years - but he told Steph “This is the last one.”

You can watch the entire mini-podcast with Turner below.

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