Draymond Green Thought Beloved Warriors Vet Would Retire: ‘F*** This’

Andre Iguodala, Warriors

Getty Andre Iguodala, Warriors

At 3.7 points per game, NBA vet Andre Iguodala putting up the fewest points of his 18-year career. He’s not shooting well—at all—with a 38.5% make rate on his shots and just 26.7% on his 3-pointers. Yet the numbers show that Iguodala’s return to Golden State has been an ideal fit, and not just because he is an old-head mentor who can bring along the team’s younger players.

Iguodala has been a key cog in Golden State’s bench unit, one that has been devastating all season. Offensively, the team scores 110.9 points per 100 possessions when he is on the floor, a slight improvement over the 110.1 it scores when he is on the bench, per Basketball-Reference. But defensively, Iguodala has been a stalwart. The Warriors allow just 88.2 points per 100 possessions when he is on the floor, and 101.7 when he is off it.

Not bad for a 37-year-old averaging 20.4 minutes per game. In fact, Iguodala is doing just what the Warriors had hoped when they brought him back to the Bay Area this summer after he spent the last two seasons in Miami.

In fact, longtime Warriors teammate Draymond Green is surprised to see Iguodala still playing. Iguodala was not particularly happy two years ago when he was let go by the organization in a cost-cutting move, as the Warriors wrestled with an escalating luxury tax bill. The team traded him to the Grizzlies, though Iguodala refused to play for Memphis and eventually was traded to the Heat.

But before that deal, Green told NBA.com, he was guessing that Iguodala would hang up his high tops and quit.

“I thought he was going to retire right away,” Green admitted. “I thought he would be like, ‘F— this, I’m out.’”

Kerr on Iguodala: ‘It’s Just Beautiful to Watch’

Instead, Iguodala helped the Heat to the 2020 Finals and is hoping to do the same with this year’s Warriors, who are off to a fantastic 7-1 start.

Despite his meager scoring numbers, Iguodala has pitched in beyond his defense, averaging 4.6 rebounds and 3.9 assists.

That’s something coach Steve Kerr felt the team has been missing over the past two seasons—Iguodala’s glue-guy presence.

“It’s just beautiful to watch when you’ve got a whole group of guys who are connected and the ball is moving and they see the game well together,” Kerr said. “Andre has always been the guy to tie it all together. He’s back to doing that for us these days, which makes our job as a coaching staff way easier.”

Iguodala has been happy on his end, too. “I mean, I’m just here, having fun,” he said Friday. “I don’t really have nothing to lose. I enjoy being around the guys, I enjoy the atmosphere and playing for Steve. Just everyone in the organization. It’s like Tiger’s quote, everything from here is gravy, so, I enjoy playing, still working very hard—probably harder than I should be.”

Iguodala Knows How Good Warriors Can Be

But Iguodala is also, to an extent, the conscience of this team, keeping the veterans and young guys from getting complacent after their early-season success. He’s a throwback to the days of the Warriors reaching the Finals in five straight years, and winning three titles in doing so, and that makes him an especially well-respected presence.

Which is good because Iguodala knows what kind of opportunity that the Warriors have in front of them. He said:

I’m having fun and I’m enjoying it, and that’s something I am trying to do all year. Make sure I am helping the young guys get better. Crazy thing is we still got two starters who are starting to get comfortable with looking at a date to return. We got a chance to do something special. I’m just trying to make the most out of every day and make sure that guys are locked in mentally with the grueling schedule and how it can—it can be a trap, 7-1 can be a trap. We got to stay locked in.






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