Programming note: Watch Saturday night’s Warriors-Nets game streaming live on the MyTeams app.
Kevon Looney is averaging 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in 17.3 minutes, and he has appeared in every game this season.
Through the Warriors’ first 12 games last season, he appeared in just five and averaged 3.4 points and 2.8 rebounds in 12.4 minutes.
“He’s one of the smarter players, especially for his age … people really forget that,” Andre Iguodala told reporters after practice Friday. “He kind of has an old-man game. He’s adjusted to some of the injuries he’s had. That would derail a lot of young guys.
“I’ve just been really happy for him because of what he overcame. I was really surprised that he came back. It just shows you there aren’t too many smart scouts out there (smiles). You can hit or miss on this team — you got a lot of guys who their numbers don’t reflect their value, and he was one of those guys.”
About a month ago, coach Steve Kerr admitted that it was “a little nerve-wracking” thinking the Warriors might lose Looney in free agency last summer. Yet somehow he didn’t receive a single offer on the open market and ended up coming back to Golden State on a minimum deal.
It was Iguodala who played a large role in helping Looney in the summer of 2017 get his body right.
“I had to change my diet. Andre was in my ear for two years about it. I finally listened to him, and it paid off,” the 22-year old told The Athletic back in late March.
Is Iguodala still working with Looney in that department?
“He’s so far ahead. It was a point where he said vegetables made him throw up. He couldn’t eat vegetables — which is the most insane thing I’ve ever heard,” the 2015 NBA Finals MVP said Friday. “But now it’s actually flipped, and if he eats anything outside of vegetables, he’s throwing up.
“We’ve come a long way, and you can see it in his game. He’s moving so much better.”
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller