After an illustrious 19-year career in the NBA, former Finals MVP Andre Iguodala has officially announced his retirement from professional basketball. In a heartfelt phone interview with Andscape’s Marc Spears, the four-time NBA champion revealed his reasons for stepping away from the game that has defined his life for nearly two decades.
“It’s just the right time,” Iguodala expressed. “Time started to get limited for me, and I didn’t want to put anything in the back seat. I didn’t want to have to try to delegate time anymore, especially with on the court, off the court with family. A lot. You want to play at a high level. But then family is a lot. My son is 16 and then two girls. So, [I’m] looking forward to seeing them grow up in those important years.”
During his remarkable career, Iguodala made significant contributions to several NBA franchises, but it was with the Golden State Warriors that he truly left an indelible mark. He spent eight seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, a season with the Denver Nuggets, two seasons with the Miami Heat, and another stint with the Warriors, where he concluded his playing days.
Iguodala played an integral role in the Warriors’ dynasty era, contributing to five consecutive NBA Finals appearances and securing three championships. His impact on both ends of the court, as well as his unselfish and team-first mentality, played a pivotal role in the team’s success.
“We won four championships, that’s kind of unheard of,” Iguodala reflected. “There are only a handful of teams that can say that. You got the [Chicago] Bulls, the [Los Angeles] Lakers, [Boston] Celtics, us, and that’s it. No organization has been run like this. And I think it’s a testament to us believing in each other, playing the right way. The game was played beautifully and had perfect timing for me right there in my prime.”
One of Iguodala’s most defining moments came during the 2015 NBA Finals when he was awarded the Finals MVP for his exceptional defensive prowess against then-Cavaliers superstar LeBron James. In that series, he proved to be the linchpin in Golden State’s victory.
On the offensive end, Iguodala was equally effective, averaging 16.3 points on an impressive 52.1 percent shooting from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc. His all-around game, including 5.8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1.3 steals per game, showcased his versatility as a player.
In his final two seasons with the Warriors, Iguodala took on a new role, becoming an unofficial assistant coach and mentor to the team’s young players, such as Jordan Poole, Jonathan Kuminga, and Moses Moody. His leadership extended off the court, and his impact on both the organization and its players was immeasurable.
The Golden State Warriors released a statement from owner Joe Lacob, expressing their deep appreciation for Iguodala’s contributions to the franchise: “Andre Iguodala was a huge part of four NBA championship teams with the Warriors and will forever be remembered for his many contributions to our franchise, both on and off the court.”
As Iguodala embarks on his post-playing career, he does so with a legacy of selflessness, commitment to the game, and a unique ability to elevate his teammates. His story serves as a testament to the power of belief and hard work, and his impact on the game of basketball will be remembered for generations to come.