Only five players were part of all three Warriors championship teams over the last five seasons. Three of them are still on the Warriors’ roster – Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson – one is retired (Shaun Livingston) and the other – Andre Iguodala – played against the Dubs on Monday night.
Andre Iguodala spent six seasons playing for the Warriors from 2013 to 2019, the last five of which resulted in Warriors trips to the NBA Finals. He averaged 7.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.4 assists during his Warriors tenure, but those stats don’t accurately measure his value to the team. A lockdown defender with a high basketball IQ and a knack to come through in the biggest moments, Iguodala has been described as a future Hall of Famer by Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr.
“That was the probably the most, not even probably, that was the most painful loss in terms of personnel move that I’ve felt as a coach in my five years,” Head Coach Steve Kerr said following Iguodala’s trade to Memphis this past summer. “The respect that the stars had for him combined with his mentoring of the younger players, to me, Andre was the unsung hero of all of this.”
Iguodala wasn’t always the unsung hero – he did earn MVP honors in the 2015 NBA Finals and had major contributions to two other NBA Championships for the Warriors in 2017 and 2018. In total, the 6’6” swingman posted averages of 9.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.17 steals and 29.8 minutes in 104 postseason games (40 starts) with the Warriors, ranking fourth on the team’s all-time playoff games played list. “During the summer of 2013, we went through an extensive free agency process in our efforts to sign Andre Iguodala,” said Warriors Co-Chairman and CEO Joe Lacob this past summer. “At that time, we envisioned him becoming a vital part of a young, up-and-coming team with championship aspirations. As we look back six years later, we actually underestimated what his value would be to our team, both on the court and in the locker room. In what has been well-documented, Andre sacrificed for the betterment of our team and, in one of the best stories of this journey, earned NBA Finals MVP honors in 2015. He has been absolutely vital to our success during five consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals and three championships. We thank Andre for all of his contributions and look forward to seeing his number in the rafters at Chase Center.”
Monday marked Iguodala’s first game against the Warriors since the Dubs traded him to Memphis last summer, a move the Warriors had to do for salary cap reasons in the wake of their deal with Brooklyn to acquire D’Angelo Russell, who was traded to Minnesota last week as part of the deal that landed Andrew Wiggins with the Warriors. On the same day the Warriors acquired Wiggins, Miami traded for Iguodala, who made his Heat debut on Sunday night in Portland and had two points in Miami’s win over the Warriors on Monday.
Prior to Monday’s game, the Warriors demonstrated an act of graciousness for the three-time champion, playing a tribute video in the arena in the moments before tipoff, followed by Klay Thompson taking over the microphone to share some kind words to his former teammate, who in turn addressed the crowd. Following the team's shootaround earlier in the day, Draymond Green said Iguodala was like a brother to him and joked that he’d deliver a flagrant foul on his former teammate the first chance he got. Later in the interview, Green added: “He’s one of the smartest guys in the league, on and off the court.”
Iguodala certainly left a positive imprint on the Warriors franchise, and his connection to the organization and the relationships he built during his six seasons with the franchise will endure far beyond his playing career.