Why Warriors should offer Andre Iguodala “player emeritus” status.

Why Warriors Should Offer Iguodala “Player Emeritus” Status Originally Appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

SAN FRANCISCO – On the subject of Andre Iguodala’s future, Warriors coach Steve Kerr and general manager Bob Myers responded adequately on Wednesday, without making any statements and leaving Andre the task of expressing his wishes.

Both of them would welcome him because they realize how much Iguodala meant for their regular season and, in particular, for the post-season that led to a championship.

“If he decides to come back we would be thrilled, because it means so much to us in so many different ways,” said Kerr.

“I heard he wants to play; I heard he doesn’t want to play, “Myers said.” I don’t know if he knows. He’s been really good, and I know it’s been written and said, but his value from the floor has been pretty powerful. “

Especially for someone who missed two thirds of the season. Iguodala doesn’t need to be at the top of the priority list for Golden State Unlimited Free Agents, but it definitely should be. And the front office should be willing to make room for him and be relentlessly persuasive to seek his return.

To be clear, the Warriors don’t mean as much to Andre as he does to them. His post-career plans have been in place for nearly a decade. He decides what’s next.

But Iguodala has earned some sort of emeritus player status. Semi-retired but still active. An offer should be made that allows him to fill the same role with the Warriors that Udonis Haslem has for six years with the Miami Heat.

Haslem has appeared in 58 games, with two starts, in the past six seasons. He has played 130 minutes in the past three seasons, going from three minutes in 2020-21 to 83 minutes last season. He has produced a total of 48 points and 42 rebounds in the past three seasons but remains the team captain.

Haslem’s contributions have always been far greater than his stats. The Heat appreciate his safeguarding of their announced culture so much that team president Pat Riley and manager Erik Spoelstra regularly secure his place on the roster. When Haslem signed another one-year contract last summer, again for a veteran minimum, Riley called him a “legacy player”.

Iguodala has done enough in his seven seasons with the Warriors to gain that privilege.

It is the perfect sounding board and regulator for the core team of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. Although Andre is a wonderful mentor to young players, the next generation of Warriors, his relationship equity is so vast that he can question any of them without worrying about repercussions.

“Not many people can get the respect of the other three guys who have won at the level they have, and Andre is one of the few people in the world who – perhaps even Shaun Livingston – would look at or even care for evenly,” he said. Myers.

Kerr cited a specific instance prior to the first round series against the Nuggets where Iguodala’s carefully chosen words stayed with the team.

“Andre talked a little bit with the team who said, sometimes to win a championship you have to improve from round to round, depending on your team,” Kerr recalled. “He said: ‘I think this is the kind of team that will have to do it, and we will have to improve every round, but we can do it since we have almost everyone in good health.’

“He wasn’t in good health, but (the reference was to) getting Gary (Payton II) back and of course getting Steph and Draymond back.”

Consider a couple of scenes from “Andre” during the playoffs. The first came when Draymond scored a poor performance in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals by committing a foul. As he sat on the bench, Iguodala cast a withered look that resembled an older brother staring at his rebellious little brother. The second came in the finals, when Iguodala jumped off the bench to push Andrew Wiggins aside. Andre went into full coach mode, taking turns scolding and cheering. Wiggins responded by absorbing what he felt and then applying it.

“I’m yelling at him, but I’m trusting him,” Iguodala later explained in his Point Forward podcast.

“The hardest part about coaching, or giving that kind of feedback to a guy, is that you accept it. That’s why it’s so good to win a championship, and that’s why those championship ties last so long. Because I was able to speak directly to you about something, and you didn’t take it personally. “

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This is something a coach might be able to do, but it’s more easily digested when it comes from someone considered a basketball savvy. That’s Andre, who is more suited to tutoring than coaching.

“He’s too smart to sit next to me and come to all of our coaches’ meetings and do this,” Kerr said, smiling. “He was a coach this year in our boys’ locker rooms. I’d love to have him back on the roster if it works – and I know Bob thinks the same – and things have to go right. “

If things “fall into place”, if Iguodala really wants another year, there is no doubt that the Warriors would be infinitely better for his presence.

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