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 correctly Wednesday, making no statements and leaving Andre to voice his wishes.
Both would welcome him back because they realize how much Iguodala meant to their regular season and especially the postseason that resulted in a championship.
"If he decides to come back, we'd be thrilled because he means so much to us in so many different ways," Kerr said.
“I heard he wants to play; I heard he doesn't want to play," Myers said. "I don't know if he knows. He was really good, and I know it was written and said, but his off-the-pitch value was pretty strong."
Especially for someone who missed two thirds of the season. Iguodala doesn't have to be high on Golden State's unrestricted free agents priority list, but he certainly should be. And the front office should be willing to make way for him and 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 gets to decide what comes next.
But Iguodala has earned a kind of player emeritus status. Partially retired but still on the active squad. An offer should be made that would allow him to fill the same role with the Warriors that Udonis Haslem has had with the Miami Heat for six years.
Haslem has appeared in 58 games with two starts over the past six seasons. He has played 130 minutes in the last three seasons, increasing from three minutes in 2020-21 to 83 minutes last season. He has a total of 48 points and 42 rebounds over the past three seasons - but remains captain of the team.
Haslem's contributions have always been far greater than his stats. The Heat values his protection of their heralded culture so much that team president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra routinely protect his roster spot. When Haslem signed another one-year deal last summer, again for the veteran's minimum, Riley called him an "old player."
Iguodala has done enough in his seven seasons with the Warriors to earn that privilege.
He is the perfect sounding board and regulator for the core of the team of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson. Although Andre is a wonderful mentor to the young players, the next generation of warriors, his relational justice is such that he can question any of them without worrying about the consequences.
"Not many people can command the respect of the other three guys who have won at their level and Andre is one of the few people in the world that they - maybe Shaun Livingston too - look up to or even look up to," he said myers
Kerr cited a specific case prior to the first-round series against the Nuggets in which Iguodala's carefully chosen words stuck with the team.
"Andre gave a little speech with the team where he said that sometimes you have to improve round by round to win a championship, depending on the team," Kerr recalled. "He said, 'I think this is the kind of team that has to do that and we have to improve every lap, but we can do that because almost everyone is healthy.'
The story goes on
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