Golden State Warriors forward Andre Iguodala announced on his Point Forward podcast that he will make his season debut against the Orlando Magic on Saturday. Here’s what you need to know:
- Iguodala has missed the entire season up to this point with a left hip injury.
- The 38-year-old signed a one-year deal to stay with the Warriors in September.
- Iguodala — a four-time NBA champion and 2015 Finals MVP — has career averages of 11.4 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game.
- The Warriors (20-19), currently in ninth place in the Western Conference, have been struggling with a slew of injuries lately: Steph Curry, Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman and Jonathan Kuminga missed all games this week.
the athlete‘s instant analysis:
What Iguodala brings to the warriors
It’s an emotional mid-season surge. Iguodala is a pillar of that era and has always been a safety net on the pitch for both veterans and the coaching staff. Steve Kerr will plant it in the younger second unit and will automatically feel more comfortable. Kerr has previously referred to him as a babysitter and companion on the floor (and in the dressing room).
Iguodala has one of the best assist-to-turnover ratios in league history and should – in a pinch, if his body is up for it – be able to overtake some of the league’s better scorers with his brain and stay net positive in defense. – slate
What does this mean for Iguodala?
This is his 19th and final NBA season. He spent the first half behind the scenes essentially as an assistant coach and voice in the dressing room while preparing his body for the grind. Now he gets the chance to actually participate on the pitch. He admitted on his podcast announcing the return that he was nervous. Iguodala played 31 games for the Warriors last season. They were overloaded at the beginning of the season. Kerr admitted to overusing him and at one point gave him 31 minutes in an overtime loss. Iguodala’s knees and hips bothered him afterwards. In the playoffs he could hardly contribute anything.
Because of this, they postponed his debut this season in hopes that the extra rest and prep time would allow Iguodala to stay grounded for the more important games of the season (probably in smaller increments of 10-15 minutes and without back to back). The delay has already ruined some meaningful nights. He wasn’t out there for a farewell game in Philadelphia (where he was drafted and starred) last month. But he still has a chance to write his final chapter on the pitch in the coming months. – slate
(Photo: Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
https://theathletic.com/4065227/2023/01/06/andre-iguodala-warriors-debut/ Warriors’ Andre Iguodala makes his season debut against Magic: What it means for the veteran in his final NBA season