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June 1, 2015

Kyrie Irving

Q.  How are you feeling physically?
KYRIE IRVING:  I feel like I'm in a good place.  I'm just going to continue to do the things necessary in order to prepare my body for The Finals.

Q.  Coach mentioned that you sat out at portions of practice.  What are some of the things right now they want to keep you away from?
KYRIE IRVING:  Trying to keep me away from different portions that we do in practice.

Q.  David said progress was slow.  Has it been what you thought it would be in terms of recovery?  Are you ahead of schedule, behind schedule from what you thought?
KYRIE IRVING:¬† It's been even.¬† Like I said, it's just a day‑by‑day thing.¬† Just coming in and getting treatment and doing whatever I can to prepare myself for The Finals.

Q.  Are you not going to get to a hundred percent maybe?
KYRIE IRVING:¬† I'm not too sure.¬† Unless something miraculous happens.¬† Just like I said before, and I'm going to keep saying it, it's a day‑by‑day thing.¬† Continue to get treatment and do what it takes.

Q.  The foot is no longer an issue, correct?
KYRIE IRVING:  Nope, no.

Q.  How would you describe the team's mood?  LeBron said restless as the team heads into The Finals?
KYRIE IRVING:  I would piggyback on that.  You're just dreaming about being in that moment.  This is what it really all comes down to.  Two teams left, best teams playing.  You think about a year ago you would be in a different place, you know, somewhere on a beach somewhere or on vacation, and you're still in June working on your craft.
So this is what it's all about.  It's an exciting moment and an exciting time for professional basketball.  To be a part of it, there is no feeling, no feeling, I can really describe it or compare it to.

Q.  For you, I guess the more days off will help you as far as getting healthy.  But would you rather get out there sooner than later on the court?
KYRIE IRVING:  Oh, yeah.  But these days are very, very important for me, especially going into The Finals.  I want to feel as close to my old self as I could.  They're very important, but from the flip side as well, preparing for a great team like that, you need as many days as you can.  We go out there and compete on June 4th.

Q.  Other people forget sometimes that Coach Blatt left his family over in Israel to come over here and kind of chase this job.  Do you guys have an appreciation for the sacrifices he's made as well?
KYRIE IRVING:  Yeah, I mean, but that's what draws a team closer together.  Coach Blatt left his family over there, but we all have made sacrifices to be a part of this team, whether we're leaving our families or our family is somewhere else, or people being traded to come in here.  We've all made sacrifices, and that's what's brought us together.  Now we're playing for a championship, so at the end of the day, it will all even out.  It will all be worth it.

Q.¬† Has he changed during the course of the year?¬† First year, a lot thrown at him‑‑ not that it's your job to evaluate him‑‑ but the growth in him as a coach?
KYRIE IRVING:  Yeah, absolutely.  He's a great coach coming over here anyway, so it was the belief that we all had in him.  Obviously, coming to a new team and new players and changing what's best fit for our team, and the players we have, and the coaches.  We have an unbelievable staff medically.  And then our coaching staff and the players, we kind of take it from there.  It goes hand in hand.
There are championship guys on this team, so the respect is always there.  And Coach Blatt has just stayed even keel, which I appreciate from him.  It's just that when he first came in here, he was an amazing player coach already, and being able to listen and be receptive to what the players are saying and going out and making changes.  Then if he feels like this is what's best for the team, he's the coach and he's going to make the decision.  We all respect that.
So there hasn't been anybody stepping on anybody's toes.  There have obviously been disagreements here and there, but what team doesn't have disagreements?  For us, it's just about growing daily and us getting better as a group.

Q.¬† How much does Dellavedova help you at practice in those match‑ups?
KYRIE IRVING:¬† It's been amazing.¬† That's why me and him are so close and we have that type of relationship.¬† It's just when he first came, it was almost a fist fight every day in practice.¬† Like, every single day.¬† It wasn't that he was trying to be dirty or intentional or anything like that, it's just the way he is.¬† It's just his nature.¬† It's that Australian blood he has in him.¬† It's just running deep.¬† It's deep‑rooted.
They're just non‑stop.¬† They're going to keep coming at you, and whatever they have, they're going to throw at you.¬† So just truly appreciate that you have a competitor like that.¬† And on the flip side, when you're going out and playing with him, you know exactly what you're going to get.¬† So I love him.

Q.  When did the relationship change from fist fights every day to actually just being like boys?
KYRIE IRVING:¬† This year.¬† This year, coming in.¬† Obviously, we went through a lot together last year, and every day in practice, we were in intense practices with Coach Brown.¬† Coming in this year, us starting preseason and him playing for World Cup as well, we came in both in unbelievable shape.¬† And every day in practice we were just pushing each other, and we had other point guards come in.¬† He is our back‑up PG.¬† He does an unbelievable job competing and staying ready all the time.

Q.  (No Microphone) I know you grew up in New Jersey.  But the Australians in the Finals, have you thought about the special quality of that?
KYRIE IRVING:¬† Yeah, absolutely.¬† I think they're a little bit more deep‑rooted in Australia than I am.¬† But we're all Aussie born, and it's great to see three of them in the Finals.

Q.  You understand better than most why Horford and (Indiscernible) get so upset with Delle?
KYRIE IRVING:  Oh, yeah, absolutely.  I, for one, what they said, they don't know if he's been dirty.  That right there goes out the window.  I've played against him every single day, and there's never been once where I felt like he was over the top.
I've played against a lot of people.  You know, first time it's just a test of he's going to test you.  It's just as simple as that.  You've got to have tough skin.  I'm not saying that Al Horford or DeMarre Carroll aren't tough or anything like that.  But in terms of being intentional or anything like that, he's just trying to compete.

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