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#pounditFriday, January 22, 2021

Steve Kerr says Andre Iguodala’s departure was most painful of his coaching career

Andre Iguodala

The loss of veteran swingman Andre Iguodala has been particularly difficult for Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.

Appearing this week on The Warriors Insider Podcast, Kerr was open about how devastating Iguodala’s departure this summer was.

“That was a complete gut punch,” he said, per Monte Poole of NBC Sports. “I’m not going to lie. That was probably the most … not even probably — that was the most painful loss, in terms of a personnel move, that I’ve felt as a coach in my five years.

“Guys in this profession come and go pretty quickly. It’s a very fluid business,” Kerr continued. “But for what Andre has meant to not only our team but to me personally, as a coach, for accepting his role, for mentoring younger players, for monitoring the bench and keeping everything going — the respect the stars had for him combined with his mentoring of the younger players — Andre was the unsung hero of all this. For him to move on was just devastating for me.”

Iguodala, who was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies in a cap-saving move after Kevin Durant’s departure this summer, was a rock for the Warriors during six seasons with them that resulted in three titles. His defense and playmaking made him irreplaceable in their Death Lineup and his veteran intangibles and leadership qualities on top of that completed him as an elite glue guy.

Kerr has said that he expects Iguodala, his fellow University of Arizona product, to play for several more years, and it will obviously take a while for him to stomach that those years will no longer be coming with the Warriors.

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