SAN FRANCISCO — Despite his veteran status and reverence among the Warriors, Andre Iguodala couldn’t secure himself a corner locker in Golden State’s clubhouse. That was intentional.
Iguodala, 37, is situated between Jonathan Kuminga, whose 19th birthday was Wednesday, and another pair of young players who share a locker on his other side, Jordan Bell and Gary Payton II.
“That was part of the planning process,” Iguodala said after shootaround Wednesday. “It was a united front. … I was originally placed on the other side and (we) reconfigured to make sure certain guys got more space — and that I was next to certain guys.”
Iguodala had to explain the locker room layout because the area is still closed to reporters due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“That’s the beauty of the locker room the past two and half years,” he joked. “There’s nobody running from you guys. We get to just relax in front of our lockers.”
When Iguodala and the Warriors agreed to reunite this past offseason, Golden State knew it was getting more than a role player who wanted to retire where he helped win three championships (including as Finals MVP in 2015).
The Warriors are betting that they can develop a trio of young lottery picks while squeezing another championship or two out of their current window with Stephen Curry, 33; Draymond Green, 31; and Klay Thompson, 31.
Iguodala is an integral piece to that puzzle.
“As you know with Andre, it goes so far beyond points and scoring, and even what you see defensively,” coach Steve Kerr said last week. “It’s about the leadership, the mentoring, the being in the right spot at the right time. Given the goal of what we’re trying to do with the development of young players and winning games, I can’t think of a better player to have on our team who can help us do both.”
Moses Moody, the No. 14 pick in the past draft, said he’s asking veterans “the smallest little details.”
Last week, the 19-year-old inquired to Curry about how he holds the laces on the basketball when he shoots.
Entering his third season, Jordan Poole said he’s been careful not to pester Iguodala with too many questions.
But Iguodala said there’s no such thing.
“I’m at the age now where I know whether it’s genuine or not,” he said. “We’ve built something real, establishing a relationship beyond basketball. James (Wiseman) is the same way. Moses (Moody) is quiet, but he’s a genuine guy. And JK, he’s newer to the game, but he wants to be really good; he wants to be great.”