Andre Iguodala is entering his 19th season in the NBA, and at 38-years-young, the 2015 Finals MVP has more basketball behind him than ahead of him.
However, just because that may be true doesn’t mean that Iggy is retired to hang up his sneakers and retire. If Iguodala knows one thing at this point, it’s that he doesn’t want to be a player-coach if he returns to the Warriors this summer.
“I like basketball,” Iguodala told NBC Sports Bay Area, “I actually like training, too. Summer training is probably the hardest thing. People don’t understand that to really get ready for a season what your body has to go through.
“I’m trying to reflect on the season, enjoy it, enjoy being a champion. And if that time comes — I don’t know if it’s going to be a tough decision, but I’m ready for whatever.”
Iggy filled that role for Golden State last season, similar to what former teammate Udonis Haslem has done over the previous six seasons.
When they were teammates on the Heat, Iguodala saw firsthand how hard Haslem worked as a player-coach, being ready to play despite playing only 58 games since the 2015-2016 season, his 5 a.m. wake-up calls, and attending every practice. Iggy called it a “testament to his work ethic.” but said that he’s “got to kill” any notion that that’s what he wants to do at this late stage of his career.
“The thing that I don’t want to see misconstrued, or I don’t want the perception thrown out there, is that I’m a coach,” he said, describing himself as a businessman who plays basketball. “I don’t want to get thrown into the ‘just go coach.’ That’s not a route I’m looking forward to taking. Not at all.”
If Iggy decides to return, he most likely will be tasked with mentoring the youngest players on the Warriors once again, 20-somethings like Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Jordan Poole, and the like. It’s not an easy job, but it’s a job Iguodala thrived in this past season, and it’ll be a part of the reason why Kuminga, Moody, and Poole end up stepping up and doing well when Coach Steve Kerr calls them into action this upcoming season.