Andre Iguodala enjoys day meeting Tiger Woods, preparing for post NBA golf life

By Mark Medina
Published on
Andre Iguodala enjoys day meeting Tiger Woods, preparing for post NBA golf life

OAKLAND -- Regardless of anything LaVar Ball might say, Warriors forward Andre Iguodala respects Warriors coach Steve Kerr for reasons beyond how he handles talent, empowers role players or maximizes productivity in his system. Iguodala really loves the fact that Kerr gave the Warriors a day off on Sunday, which coincided with Iguodala's 34th birthday.

"Steve is cool with off days. That's what makes him the best coach in the NBA," Iguodala said following practice on Monday. "That's what makes him a candidate for multi all-time coach of the year."

And those off days help Iguodala feel rejuvenated in both healing his body and clearing his mind in his 14th NBA season. Iguodala maintained, "I don't do birthdays," yet he spent his latest one attending the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines down in San Diego. There, Iguodala both completed a round of golf with a group of friends and met golfer Tiger Woods for the first time.

"Everybody had a good time," Iguodala said. "Retirement is coming soon, so I'm just gearing myself up for what retirement life might be. It looks like it's going to be pretty good if yesterday was any indication."

Iguodala has spent his 14th NBA season showing both signs of nearing retirement and still offering value. After signing a three-year, $48 million deal last summer that keeps him with the Warriors through the 2019-20 season, Iguodala has averaged career lows in points per game (5.7), shooting percentage (43.3 percent) and minutes played (25.8). Yet, Kerr and those on the Warriors often praise Iguodala for his defensive presence, positional versatility and on-court leadership, stats that are not fully quantified in any box score. The Warriors also anticipate Iguodala's play improving during the NBA playoffs.

Still, Iguodala's golf excursion on Sunday captured how he has handled the tail end of his NBA career. It has become a mix of both filling his offdays with hobbies and preparing for life after basketball.

Iguodala found it "cool" meeting Woods for the first time in his life after constantly golfing in his free time. Then, Iguodala brought up the interest he and Warriors guard Stephen Curry have in playing a round of golf with Woods at some point. Iguodala also became inspired meeting a golfer that has won 14 major championships.

"He's mad cool. Very personable," Iguodala said of Woods. "You can talk about anything. He's seen a lot and has done it all. Obviously, he's an athlete that is doing it a long time in his sport, and I've been playing basketball a long time. We've done some special things, but not quite on his level. But I've done some similar things. He's real cool."

Iguodala also found it productive he made progress with possible initiatives. Iguodala said he networked with other golfers, including Jason Day. Iguodala said he has some unspecified "production things in the works." And Iguodala spoke with various golf companies for a specific reason.

"I don't have to pay for clubs and equipment for the rest of my life," Iguodala said. "That would be my dream. That's all I need."

Well, that is not everything Iguodala needs. He also has needed days off to recover from minor ailments, clear his mind and fulfill a passion that might become stronger once he stops competing on the hardwood.

"No matter how much you prepare, there is always something you're not ready for," Iguodala said. "Then it's, 'How do you adjust to it?' That's the coolest part. You can plan all day. But you can't see the future. So it's going to be something you have to adjust to on the fly. That shows growth, dealing with adversity and dealing something that you haven't foreseen. It's about adjusting to it and then still getting to the goal."