The 2015 NBA Finals MVP told Andscape on Friday morning that he is retiring from the NBA. In 19 seasons, Iguodala averaged 11.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 1,231 games. The 2012 All-Star said he turned down interest from the Warriors and several other teams before deciding to retire.
“It’s just the right time,” Iguodala, 39, told Andscape in a phone interview. “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.”
The former Arizona star was the ninth overall pick in the 2004 NBA draft. The 6-foot-6, 215-pounder made his lone All-Star appearance with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2012 and averaged a career-high 19.9 points per game with the franchise during the 2007-08 season.
The defensive-minded forward was a two-time All-NBA defensive team selection, making the first team in 2013-14. Iguodala also was a 2012 London Games gold medalist and a 2010 world champion with USA Basketball. He is 39th in NBA history in total games played.
New Orleans Pelicans coach Willie Green, who played with Iguodala with the 76ers and coached him with Golden State, expressed his respect.
“He’s always been a mature young man, and I’m proud to see what he’s done in his career on the floor,” Green told Andscape. “An Olympic gold medalist, a four-time NBA champion, but I’m even proud of him for who he is off the floor, [a] devoted husband and father. [There are] a ton of friends that he has in the NBA circles. But even the young guys, he would take the young guys and show ’em how to be pros.
“… He was one of the best, most versatile players to ever play, can play any position and can guard any position. He really worked on his game because he wanted to be the best that he could. That is a reason why he ends up in Golden State and he’s one of the pillars of that team winning championships and becoming a dynasty. You get a guy like Andre on your team and he changes things.”
Iguodala played for the 76ers, Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat. His biggest impact was made with the Warriors. Warriors owner Joe Lacob said in 2019 that he planned to retire Iguodala’s No. 9 jersey after he retired.
“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,” Lacob said in a statement. “His team-first approach, which we witnessed immediately upon his arrival in Golden State, helped set the tone for much of our success, as did the impact he had on the defensive end of the floor. We look forward to raising #9 to the rafters in Chase Center at some point in the future, and we wish him well in what will assuredly be a very successful post-playing career venture into the business world.”
In July 2013, Iguodala turned down a five-year contract with the Nuggets to join the Warriors via sign-and-trade on a four-year, $48 million contract. That proved to be the best move of his career. He won NBA championships with the franchise in 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2022. After going to Miami, Iguodala played the final two seasons of his career with the Warriors and played in eight games last season.
“We won four championships; that’s kind of unheard of,” Iguodala said. “There are only a handful to teams that can say that. You got the Bulls, the Lakers, 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. And things just happen the way they were supposed to happen when they happened, and it makes you actually strengthen your faith. You just give it all the way up to someone else to say, ‘Let me play to my maximum ability based on the work that I put in and the focus that what I have put into the game has paid off.'”
The highlight of Iguodala’s NBA career occurred during the 2015 Finals, when he was named MVP for his defense on Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James. James shot 38.1% from the field in that Finals when Iguodala was guarding him, compared to 44% when guarded by other defenders. Iguodala also averaged 16.3 points, 4.0 assists and 5.8 rebounds in the six-game series.
“That was pretty cool,” Iguodala said. “It was funny. [Then-Warriors GM] Bob Myers was the one that gave me the news. That was one of those moments you’ll never forget. I remember every moment when that happened. But it’s always safe to say if you just go out and do your job and what you’re supposed to do, things will happen the way they’re supposed to happen. You just got to have faith that things will work out favorably as long as you have that faith.
“You see a lot in sports like guys going out, making sure they get it, and that sometimes that gets in the way of the team success. It always does.”
Iguodala also made an impact for his NBA brethren by serving on the National Basketball Players Association executive committee from 2015 to 2023. Former NBPA president Chris Paul has credited Iguodala, who last held the position of first vice president, for helping him navigate the challenges of the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic.