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September 28, 2015

Klay Thompson

Oakland, California

Q. Klay, how do you guys prepare to approach a season where you have the target of being the defending champions?
KLAY THOMPSON: Obviously it starts with the vets. These guys will have us prepared, especially mentally. I know it was a great off-season for a lot of us and coming off a great season, almost perfect. We won't be complacent, I'll tell you that. Our guys on this team are too competitive.

We've chased that feeling of winning, and we want to kind -- we're kind of addicted to it, and we want to get back to that high level of play. It can be sustainable, we've just got to do the right things as far as stay healthy mentally and physically, and just stay hungry.

Q. Last season you made the All-Star team, obviously. How do you look at that season on a whole for you, and usually every summer you work on something to add to your game. What did you do this summer?
KLAY THOMPSON: Yeah, it was a magical season last year as far as the team standpoint because it was near perfect. Obviously we had some challenges and we faced some adversity. We went down 2-1 in both series against Memphis and Cleveland. But other than that, 67 wins and a near perfect regular season record, our home record was something of legend.

For me, just trying to build on what I did last year, being more consistent this year on a nightly basis and doing it on both sides of the ball. For me I want to get to the free-throw line more and be a better play maker. I know Coach will be on me all year to help rebound so I'm going to grab one or two more a game to help our big guys out, and stay in great shape so I can do it on both sides of the ball.

Q. Andre said a moment ago that he felt that you wore down mentally at the end of last season. Is that an accurate assessment? If so, how do you prevent that from happening this year?
KLAY THOMPSON: Yeah, I don't think I wore down, to be honest. I thought I was great and very fresh throughout the whole year. It's easy when the season flew by because we were having so much fun and it came so easy at times. The little adversity that we faced it seemed like it would be so much because we weren't used to it because almost everything went perfect. So we'll be better off this year. Even if we go on a bad stretch, it's not the end of the world. It's a long season.

Even for me, each year I've learned how to train better and pace myself even more and not kill myself in the first few months of the season, knowing that you've got to stay as healthy as possible because you plan on playing until June again.

Q. Klay, you're usually a pretty low-key guy. I saw you on the Kimmel Show and you had the opportunity to meet the airman who stopped that terrorist attack in France. It looked like you were pretty excited to meet that guy, talk to him and give him the keys to the car. What was that like for you?
KLAY THOMPSON: It was awesome. I didn't have to do that much talking. It was cool to talk to Spencer. It was fun to meet a young man with so much courage, especially knowing he's a Dubs fan, and one of his wishes was to go to opening night and to be able to give that to him was awesome.

It's humbling for me knowing he's a Dubs fan because the situation he was in makes basketball look like it doesn't even matter. That's why it's cool to connect with people like that. He's a very humble person. I could tell he was very grateful for the praise we all gave him, and I'm excited to be hanging out with him again on opening night. Spencer's a great guy.

Q. With you and Steph, you're talking about the fifth-year now being side by side. With everything you've accomplished already, do you still see another level? Do you see areas where you can add wrinkles to it and do even more than you've done in the past as far as that tandem?
KLAY THOMPSON: Yeah, I think so. I think obviously Steph you would think he's on top of his game right now, but there are still areas he can improve, which is hard to think about because he's so well-rounded in every part of his game. And me, I can do a lot more and become a much better player.

Yeah, it's pretty crazy. It's our fifth-year together. Hopefully we've got another great five years in us. I wouldn't rather play with anybody else in the back court. Honestly. He's easy to follow just because he leads by example every day and he puts the work in. So for me it's a privilege to play with Steph.

Q. You were just talking about Steph. Obviously the MVP from last year. How attainable would that be for you? Obviously you've been improving and you talk about being a better player, better training. How do you look at things for this season in that sense?
KLAY THOMPSON: I don't really -- individually I don't really set many goals for myself. The only goal I have is to come in every day and not take any days off or take any days for granted. Just try and improve every day in practice, in the games, eat right, get my sleep, and everything else will take care of itself. That's what I did last year and I was able to get some great individual accolades, but even better you sacrifice for your team, and we all have one common goal, and that is to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy again.

I don't really think MVP or all-NBA at all. I just think if you play your hardest every day and get your work in, all that will take care of itself.

Q. Steve Kerr mentioned you specifically when he was discussing somebody that maybe Steve Nash could help potentially the most. What do you see as far as Steve Nash being able to help your game and how?
KLAY THOMPSON: Well, Steve is such a great shooter, not only that he's maybe one of the best play makers and he is one of the best play makers in NBA history, so I want to learn off of him in that aspect and just learn how well he read the floor in his playing days.

He was one of the best at getting his teammates involved. And I think my shooting ability, I draw so much attention. Hopefully this year I can expand my role as far as play making and get other guys involved and get other guys open shots. So I see Steve helping me a lot in that aspect.

Q. You just talked about how you aren't necessarily motivated by individual accolades, but would you say that making the All-Star team and playing in the All-Star Game would be a little bit different from those?
KLAY THOMPSON: Yeah, I'd be lying to you if I said that didn't mean anything to me. That was a really special moment in my life. Growing up, you always dream of being an NBA All-Star, and to have that across your chest and represent your organization, it was really special for me and made me hungry to get there again. It's cool to get there once, but to sustain that level of play, that's what all the greats do, and I want to be a great one one day. So if you just put your work in and play within the system and just do your row, it will take care of itself. Hopefully I'll be up there again in Toronto this year.

Q. What did you work on defensively this off-season? Do you want the challenge again of having to guard some of the better point guards or do you want to get some more small forwards?
KLAY THOMPSON: I'll do whatever I need to do to help the team win. I think I'm able to guard, like you said, point guards, just because I'm able to use my length and slide well with them. But as far as defense this off-season, just played a lot of one-on-one. I worked on contesting the shot a little bit more, my explosiveness. It doesn't matter to me who I guard, honestly. I'm just going to take the challenge of trying to shut down that guy within the team aspect as much as possible.

I do take pride in my defense. It's something you work on, it's just simple playing one-on-one and five-on-five. Just knowing the team concepts and being in the right position and all that.

Q. Last year was such a magical ride, and it was a novelty for this franchise. In the summertime you had a lot of parties and a lot of celebration. How do you maintain the focus and the intensity because you know other teams will be gunning for you at this point?
KLAY THOMPSON: Yeah, you've got to have somewhat of amnesia and just forget about last year. Teams don't really care that we won last year. They want it just as bad as we do. But we have such a talented group of guys. What's great about us, we're all so competitive, that I don't think complacency will be an issue. But.

We love having the bullet on our back. Now when you go to these arenas, it is the best show in town, the Warriors. We don't take that for granted. We want to have those eyes on us. We want that pressure. We know winning back-to-back will be much harder than winning the first one. You've just got to take it week by week. You can't look too far to the future. You can't look to June. You've just got to start with let's get to a great training camp and have a great preseason and go from there.

Q. Which team do you think is your biggest opponent for winning the championship once again and why?
KLAY THOMPSON: That's a good question. There are so many talented teams in the Western Conference. There are so many teams that have the make-up to win the championship. It's hard to pick one.

Obviously, Cleveland's going to be great again. They're going to be healthy. Them playing in the East is probably a little easier on them. But at the same time playing in the West has its benefits because it gets you that much more prepared if you do make it to June. I say our biggest challenge in the west, the Spurs made some great moves this off-season as well as the Clippers.

The Thunder are going to be healthy again. You know what Memphis is going to give you. They're a great team as well. So it's hard to pick one. I can't.

Q. Do you recall the time when it hit you that you were not dreaming and you had actually won the World Championship? Also, what have you learned about yourself as a man, as a player this off-season?
KLAY THOMPSON: Oh, wow. Well, I think it hit me during the parade just to see how united the Bay Area was and to see a million people in the city of Oakland. That was one of the most amazing things I'd seen in my life. It's motivating because I want to have it again. It was such a beautiful day on the lake. That's something we'll never forget and a moment we shared with our teammates and family.

So I learned about myself -- what did I learn about myself in this off-season? That's a deep question. I learned that I have a great support system because my family at home they're up late every night watching the whole season, not just the playoffs but -- (Lost audio) really wanted to see my family and see how many basketball fans were in my father's home country is really special. Now that is the highlight of my off-season as well.

Q. I'm just curious. Your overall perspective on Coach Kerr being here just one year and here you guys go again. Just what you make of his performance and the gelling overall?
KLAY THOMPSON: Well, he set the bar extremely high for himself. He's a great coach. He's an even better person. He's easy to talk to. He's created a great culture here just in one year. He expects a lot out of us and he demands a lot out of us, and he does respect us which in turn we respect him and we play hard for him. He's got a great mind for the game. He's not afraid to approach you if he wants you to do something better.

The best part about this team, we're all coachable guys and it's like a perfect mix. Steve's going to have a great time here and do great things for this city.

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