Warriors

Exclusive: Warriors' Andre Iguodala says 'I’m going to be done soon' in NBA

Exclusive: Warriors' Andre Iguodala says 'I’m going to be done soon' in NBA

OAKLAND – Andre Iguodala is counting down the remaining years of his NBA career. No need to count the days or weeks, because others have been doing that since, oh, about 2015.

“I’m going to be done soon,” he told NBC Sports Bay Area this week. “I could probably play a legit five more years, but I’ll probably max out at three more after this year – maybe three more.

“But if I’m not here, that will weigh heavily on what I will do. I possibly have another year here – if we win. That’s it. I know that. I’m fine with it.”

Possibly? Reminded that he is under contract for the 2019-20 season, at 17.2 million, the final year of the three-year, $48 million deal he signed in July 2017, Iguodala waves it off.

“That’s if we win,” he said. “If not . . .”

Iguodala is in his 14th NBA season. He is the oldest Warrior, two months from turning 35. This is his fifth season out of the starting lineup and the third during which his minutes will be monitored by the training staff. He has reached the career stage when NBA players begin wondering about their athletic mortality, leading to the questions most would prefer to dodge.

How much longer can I do it? Am I still making an impact? Do talent evaluators believe in me? Does my team appreciate me?

The Warriors appreciate Iguodala. His intellect and chameleon-like ability to adapt to circumstance and devote his energy to what the team needs at that moment have endeared him to coach Steve Kerr. His teammates marvel about Iguodala’s value being beyond the quantifiable. Don’t look at the numbers, they say. Watch the game.

[RELATED: Andre Iguodala explains why he likes but doesn't enjoy playing in NBA]

It’s certainly true that no member of the Warriors is subjected to more debate about his significance. Some believe he’s overpaid; his salary ranks fourth among players that opened the season as reserves. Others are convinced he’s well worth the money as long as the championships keep coming.

“Perception can become reality for people in the position of filing out rosters, like GMs,” Iguodala said. “Sometimes, perception is their reality, even when it’s wrong. It could mess up someone’s perception of you, what they think of you as a player. They say, ‘Oh, he is done.’ That is really hard. I don’t really worry about it.

“But at the same time, it is a thing. I know it’s out there. But at this point, I know I’m still pretty good. I really believe that. But if people don’t know that, I’ll just be like, ‘OK, I’m done playing.’ ”

If it seems Iguodala has something to prove – or believes he has something to prove – it’s because that’s his nature. He’s a watcher and listener. He can’t ignore the noise because he needs to be prepared for anything. As much as he may want to silence skeptics, he realizes stepping out of character would disrupt the balance of the most successful NBA team since the Lakers of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.

For the Warriors to prosper, they need Iguodala to do handle details both complex and obscure, particularly in big moments.

[RELATED: Andre Iguodala references Kobe-Shaq when asked about Draymond-Durant]

“It’s all about that balance,” he said. “Sometimes, I have to be the guy that says, ‘OK, we’ve got to play the right way.’ If that means I’ve got to pass up some shots to make sure everybody else is in the right flow, has the right mindset and is getting their touches, so be it – as long as I know that’s going to help us in the long run.”

Iguodala has started the past seven games, the first three at point guard and the last four at small forward. Few players in the league are asked to handle both duties in a season, much less in the same week. It’s an assignment he accepts because, well, now it’s working.

He also knows this is temporary, that he may return to the bench when Stephen Curry returns, likely this week, and certainly will go back to his Sixth Man role when Draymond Green returns, likely next week.

“We will still have to get back to finding our comfort zone within different roles,” Iguodala said. “A lot of guys on the second unit have been very aggressive, and we needed that. But with me going back to the second unit, I’ll have to be aggressive. Being in the starting lineup, I kind of tailored it back.

“It’s kind of like I’m itching to go back to the second unit.”

Why? Because that means the Warriors as projected will be intact. Iguodala can get back into his routine, coming off the bench to add the missing ingredient while wondering how many minutes he has before his career clock hits zeroes.

Steph Curry left off Chris Paul's description of ultimate point guard

Steph Curry left off Chris Paul's description of ultimate point guard

Thus far through their NBA careers, Steph Curry has gotten the better of Chris Paul. In three head-to-head postseason matchups, Curry's Warriors have won two playoff series to Paul's one. Curry is a two-time NBA MVP, while Paul is still waiting for first. Curry owns three NBA championship rings. Paul has never made it to the NBA Finals.

So, yes, it would be easy to understand if Paul was bitter about the younger Curry's success. He might not have wanted to pass the torch of predominant NBA point guard, but it happened nonetheless.

Paul was traded from the Houston Rockets -- after they were eliminated by Curry and the Warriors -- to the Oklahoma City Thunder last offseason, and he has done a tremendous job in leading OKC (36-22) to what is currently sixth place in the Western Conference. The Thunder have outperformed expectations thus far in what has been a feel-good season, and Paul arguably deserves the bulk of the credit for that.

Despite all those good feelings, however, it appears some of that bitterness still lingers. Paul was recently asked to build the ultimate point guard, taking attributes from different players, and he had one glaring omission that, frankly, seems intentional.

"I probably want [Derrick Rose]'s explosiveness," Paul told Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks on the newest episode of "Take it There." "And then you've got the different arms, so like one hand, probably Kyrie [Irving]'s finishes and all that. And then on the other hand, Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander] nice with the finishes.

"Steve Nash was a really good shooter," he continued. "Russ [Westbrook] -- a great rebounder. [LeBron James] is always good at passing and all that different type of stuff. But I know my basketball IQ and awareness ... nobody watches more basketball than me."

All right. Some fair selections. No arguments there. But wait ... 

"Probably [Deron Williams] or Baron Davis' build. Shooting also might be somebody like Gilbert Arenas."

Hold up ... What?!

Curry is the greatest shooter of all-time. One could make the case for Nash as well, so his inclusion on Paul's list makes sense. But Arenas?

Come. On.

Currently in his 11th NBA season, Curry is a career 47.6-percent shooter from the field and 43.5-percent marksman from 3-point range. He will own every 3-point record by the time his career is over. Arenas, meanwhile, shot 42.1 percent from the field and 35.1 percent from beyond the arc over his 11-year NBA career, never once coming close to Curry's career effective field goal percentage (.581) in any single season.

[RELATED: Kerr casts doubt on Curry's March 1 return date for Dubs]

Seeing Curry disrespected by NBA greats of past and present is nothing new. It's certainly possible that Paul simply forgot to include him, but based on history, that's awfully tough to believe.

Warriors brought in Klay Thompson's friend 'off the street' to scrimmage

Warriors brought in Klay Thompson's friend 'off the street' to scrimmage

Warriors superstar Steph Curry scrimmaged Wednesday for the second time as he continues to inch closer to returning to game action after breaking his left hand back on Oct. 30.

Golden State doesn't have many healthy bodies right now, so the team had to get creative to field 5-on-5 action.

"It was a ragtag group," coach Steve Kerr told reporters. "Theo Robertson was probably the highlight for me. He looked good. One of Klay's buddies came in off the street basically.

"Dragan (Bender) played, Juan (Toscano-Anderson) played -- so that was good.

"It wasn't the highest level pickup ball I've ever seen."

Robertson -- a Warriors player development coach who works closely with Eric Paschall -- played at Cal from 2005 to 2010. Over his junior and senior seasons combined, he averaged 13.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists, while shooting better than 49 percent from the field and 47 percent from deep.

The Bears won the regular season conference championship his last year in Berkeley, and he was named the team's MVP.

As for "one of Klay's buddies" -- his name is Seth Tarver, and he is very close friends with Klay's brother, Mychel.

Tarver -- who serves as a Director for the Thompson Family Foundation -- played at Oregon State from 2006 to 2010, and was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year as a senior.

[RELATED: Kerr casts doubt on Curry's March 1 return date for Dubs]

Additionally, Golden State player development coach Luke Loucks -- who played his college ball at Florida State -- also suited up for the scrimmage. 

As a senior in 2012, he started all 35 games for a Seminoles squad that earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Have a great rest of your day.

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