Popular Warriors Veteran Hints at Retirement After Playoff Run

Andre Iguodala

Getty Andre Iguodala celebrates a play in a game against the Boston Celtics.

This playoff run could be the grand finale for one popular Golden State Warriors veteran.

Andre Iguodala, who was a mainstay of the Warriors’ rotation during the team’s run to the NBA Finals before leaving for a two-year stint with the Miami Heat, came back to Golden State and is again playing an important role in the playoffs. After a season cut short by injuries, the fan-favorite player hinted this week that he may have reached the end of the line.

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Iguodala Faced Challenges

It was a season filled with challenges for the 38-year-old veteran. Iguodala only appeared in 31 games this season while nursing a series of injuries, playing a career-low 19.5 minutes per game. He also had career-lows in shooting, both from the field and behind the three-point arc.

While it was a difficult season for Iguodala, it was a great one for his team. The Warriors had a bounce-back season after two straight years that fell short of the playoffs, going into the playoffs as the No. 3 seed and beating the Denver Nuggets in Game 1 of their opening-round playoff series.

Speaking to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ron Kroichick this week, Iguodala acknowledged that the season didn’t go as he envisioned, but said he’s looking forward to the playoffs — hinting that it could be his final season in the NBA.

“I haven’t been out there as much as I’d like,” Iguodala said, “but sometimes even if things don’t work out to a T, you still know your presence is being felt and you’re getting the job done. I feel like that. …

“It’s shaping up to be a special way to go out, whether it’s this year or next year or whenever.”

Igoudala Contemplated Retirement Before

This is not the first time that Iguodala has hinted at retirement, but said that he felt a special calling with the Warriors this season. Speaking to NBA.com back in November, Iguodala said he was excited to share his knowledge of the game with Golden State’s group of promising young players, including center James Wiseman.

“He’s already head and shoulders above anyone around his age,” Iguodala said of Wiseman. “But he has so far to go. It’s about getting him to break it down in terms of, ‘You’re going to get there, but you’re not going to get there tomorrow.’ There’s so much noise that’s involved in athletes’ lives now. It prevents them from getting there. They don’t understand the journey of it all.”

Wiseman didn’t get the chance to play with Iguodala this season, as the 20-year-old center was not able to recover from a knee injury in time to play, but Iguodala has often been on the court with rookies Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr is prepared for Iguodala’s post-retirement life, saying in November that he wouldn’t be surprised to see him taking a spot on the Warriors coaching staff. Iguodala isn’t so sure.

“I don’t know how I would be as a coach,” Iguodala said, laughing. “As a player, I can make my impact on the court and then curse a guy out and show them that I know what I’m doing. But as a coach, you really can’t show it the same way. That’s why I don’t think that’s the best thing.”

Iguodala will have at least the rest of the playoffs to decide. The Warriors are a popular pick to win the Western Conference, especially with the veteran core of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green all healthy for the first time this season. Kerr also said that Iguodala will be playing a bigger role, stretching beyond his roughly 20 minutes per game and taking the court in important situations.

READ NEXT: Steph Curry Gets Honest About His Long-Term Future With the Warriors

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