SAN FRANCISCO – Andre Iguodala is known for his cryptic tweeting and on Thursday, the Twitter account for his “Point Forward” podcast might have dropped a hint that his announcement on his decision to retire is coming soon. Or, they simply wanted to stir up the pot on Warriors by posting the eyeball emoji and joking about it afterwards.
The tweets came just hours after Warriors president of basketball operations/general manager Bob Myers and coach Steve Kerr addressed the media at Chase Center, to preview the 2022-23 season for the reigning champs.
The Warriors have stayed patient with Iguodala all summer to see if he’ll return for a 19th season. Golden State currently has two vacant spots on its 15-man roster, with one saved for Iguodala if he wants to return. As of Thursday morning, Myers was still in the dark like the rest of us.
“He's someone you want around,” Myers said. “If it was up to me, we would keep him around a long time, even if he wasn't playing but we're running out of time. I'll call him when we get out of here, see what he's doing -- he's going to let you know, apparently. You'll know when I know. Watch his podcast, I guess.”
It’s worth noting that Point Forward usually posts its new episodes on Fridays. Could Iguodala drop the news in less than 24 hours? The Warriors open training camp Saturday and will play two preseason exhibitions against the Washington Wizards in Japan on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.
In his 18th NBA season last year, the 38-year-old Iguodala was hobbled by knee, hip and back issues that limited him to 31 regular-season games and seven postseason contests. Despite his low averages of 4.0 points, 3.7 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game, Iguodala is a trusted closer for coach Steve Kerr with his defensive acumen, high basketball IQ and ability to guard multiple positions. He's got four rings (so far) and a statue on the way.
“I'm just hopeful,” Kerr said. “Beyond that, I really don't know, you know, what Andre is going to do. He's been in here working out and kind of getting training staff to work with him and look at him and I think he's getting a feel for what he wants to do, and we told him from the beginning, take as long as you want. So he's taking his time and that's fine. So we'll see.”
Myers also said Golden State would consider bringing back Iguodala at a later date if it makes sense for both sides. Ultimately, the Warriors would love to have Iguodala be healthy for 16 wins in the playoffs in another title run if he decides to come back. Perhaps that could mean a truncated workload in the regular season.
“Yeah, depending on the reason, the why of it,” Myers said. “Like I said, he's earned latitude.”
The fact that we’re two days away from training camp and Iguodala still hasn’t made his decision is a nod to his status within the Warriors organization. His behind-the-scenes contributions and ability to educate younger players, keep the veterans cool and act as an extra coach are also highly valued within the franchise.
“I've never had someone like Andre,” Myers said. “So I guess you've got to have leverage to play this that far out, which he does. You know, he's earned that right to make his own decision. We want him to make his own decision. We don't want to force him into something and two weeks later he says, I'm not up for this. So we will wait.”