SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Andre Iguodala rode the Peloton bike a few times last week and noted that “I’m not in such bad shape”.
Now he will see how that translates to the basketball court again.
After seriously considering retirement all summer and deciding his playing days were over, the 38-year-old guard and forward returns for a 19th NBA season after signing with Golden State on Monday. The deal is for the veteran minimum, and Iguodala is expected to travel to Japan with the team on Tuesday for a pair of preseason games this weekend against the Washington Wizards.
“The way information travels so fast now, it’s like you almost forget what we just did. We’re still the champions and it lasts until we’re not the champions anymore I don’t know if it’s 300 days or 600 days but I’m lounging because when you gonna look back like 25 years to from now on, you’re going to wish you kissed her a little more.
Iguodala heard encouraging words from Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Jonathan Kuminga this summer about one last hurrah, and the 2015 NBA Finals MVP called it “a bit of a rollercoaster” to take his decision.
“I had been jumping back and forth like twice, and it’s literally exhausting jumping back and forth, like okay, I’m in it, then I practiced like twice and I was like ” why? ‘” said Iguodala, who has a production company and her own podcast.
Straight from the source…. #New Media https://t.co/1FIXiBjXoD
— André (@andre) September 23, 2022
What sold him one more season was a meeting with Warriors vice president of player health and performance, Rick Celebrini, who met with Iguodala and laid out a plan to keep him healthy. health and balance playing time with proper rest and recovery. Iguodala played 19.5 minutes in just 31 games last season due to a series of injuries from a bulging disc in his lower back, a neck injury and a knee that required multiple drainages.
“If he hadn’t come up with this plan, I wouldn’t have been so comfortable,” Iguodala said. “I think that’s what sealed the deal.”
He joined the Warriors last season after two years in Miami and became a key presence as the Warriors won another title, saying on Monday, “I’m really just playing for the fun of the game.”
“It makes my job so much easier because we have so many young guys and they need coaching, they need mentoring. Andre is the best with it,” coach Steve Kerr said. “And he loves working with the younger ones. As a player he makes everything work because he knows exactly where he needs to be and so he makes every lineup click and then if he’s not on the pitch he teaches those youngsters the same guys. André is therefore a really crucial part of our whole program, delighted to have him back.
Iguodala plans to seek his shot more regularly, even in a lineup featuring Splash Brothers stars Curry and Klay Thompson.
“I need to score more, I’m really looking forward to it,” said Iguodala.
Curry and the others are eager to see it after realizing Iguodala’s career was over after beating the Celtics for the title in June.
“He’s planting his flag now, which I think is a healthy way for him to approach this year, knowing he’s giving it his all,” Curry said. “The point of his coming back, we talk a lot about him being the mentor first, that’s kind of the narrative. But he won’t come back if he doesn’t think he can play and contribute, whether it’s 10 minutes, 20 minutes. Big creeping game, maybe even more, playing regularly maybe in the second half of the season.
“He’s not there to be a coach first, a player second.”
Iguodala, who won four titles with the Warriors (2015, 2017, 2018, 2022), reiterated that the upcoming season will be his last year in the NBA.
“I’m warning you now, Steph [Curry]it’s the last,” Iguodala said after announcing his decision to play for one more year.
Last season, Iguodala, 38, averaged 4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists in just 31 games with Golden State.