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September 22, 2017

Steve Kerr

Oakland, California

STEVE KERR: It's been a long odyssey, as you guys well know, and not easy, but I'm lucky to have the support of not only the players but Bob and Joe. Everybody is constantly so supportive, and I'm looking forward to the season. I'm excited. I think it's going to go smoothly. I think I'll be fine. But who knows. As Vin Scully once said, we're all day-to-day.

Q. As a championship team, what's the importance of adding young talent like Patrick McCaw and Jordan Bell to a squad that's in win-now mode?
STEVE KERR: I think it's important to constantly be infusing your roster with young players and energy. I think it's one of the best things that Bob and his staff have done the last few years. When you look at some of the young guys who have made an impact, whether it was through the draft or free agency. So I'm really looking forward to seeing Patrick develop further. He's clearly a good player with a chance to be a great player. Jordan, we were thrilled to get in the draft. We didn't think he would be there. We're also excited about Damian Jones and Looney. These guys all have a lot of talent. They all know how to play, and it's a good mix with those guys and our vets.

Q. Klay Thompson sometimes tends to blend into the background with all the star power you have and because of his personality. Seems like this summer he really had a good time over in China, was the head of social media. What was your take on that, and were you happy for Klay to be able to sort of step out into the spotlight?
STEVE KERR: If I could do it all over again, I would be Klay. I mean that. I want to be Klay. He's got it figured out. Just wants to play hoop and have fun and play with his dog, the most low-maintenance guy on earth.

Q. When you and the rest of the players meet about the White House potential visit, what are the variables that you and the players are ultimately going to be weighing in making that decision?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, I think the biggest thing is we haven't had a chance to be together in the summer. Everybody gets scattered, so it's just important for everybody to express their views, not only players but coaches and management and ownership, and we haven't had that opportunity. It's not anything we've really given a ton of thought to, but we will meet over the next couple of days and decide what we want to do.

Q. Last year Ian Clark worked his way into a pretty stable role in that second unit, shooting the ball and handling it when he needed to, but now he's down in New Orleans. What are you looking for in that role if you continue it, and kind of who are you looking at to potentially fill it?
STEVE KERR: We want shooting and scoring in that role. We've got a lot of possibilities. Nick Young we obviously signed to fill in that spot. I think Nick and Patrick McCaw, Shaun Livingston, Andre, you're going to see all four of them off the bench. But one of the keys to this season is for our players to accept the fact that not every night is going to be their night. Some nights are going to be better than others. It's one of the hallmarks of our team the last few years, that guys sacrifice for the chance to win a championship, and it's a good trade-off, but it's a difficult one, just human nature wise. Everybody wants to play. But our players understand that. That's part of the deal when they come here, and the payoff is tremendous. But the only way it works is if people -- not necessarily embrace it, because like I said, everybody wants to play, but accept it and accept the challenge of, all right, it may not be the easiest thing, but it's definitely the most rewarding thing.

Q. What do you think of how Kevin Durant handled his Twitter incident, and have you gotten a chance to talk to him about that?
STEVE KERR: I talked to KD about it yesterday. You know, it's not a big deal. It's not anything that we're concerned about. He apologized. I told him a story about something that happened to me in my career that was very embarrassing. The fact is we live in a fishbowl, and we are all expected to be -- in this profession to be glib and outspoken, and then all of a sudden you can get yourself in trouble unless you just want to completely clam up. It's never been more difficult to be a professional athlete and be in the spotlight than today with social media. It's tricky. It's a tricky position to be in. But he knows he made a mistake. He was embarrassed about it. As I told him, I've said a lot of things over my life that I've been embarrassed about. It's part of being a human being, but especially when you're in the spotlight day after day. It's not anything that concerns us. We just move on, and it's not a big deal.

Q. You mentioned Nick Young earlier; I'm curious when you met with him this summer, what was your kind of message to him or the plan you had in mind with him, and I'm also wondering whether the successful season JaVale McGee had last year is any sort of blueprint for incorporating a player like Nick.
STEVE KERR: So I had lunch with Nick in LA, happened to bring Kevin Durant and Draymond Green along, which helped in the sell. Our message to Nick was you're perfect for us; you can shoot, you're 6'7", you can guard multiple spots. He was better defensively last year than he's ever been. People may not have recognized it because he was playing on a team that didn't make the Playoffs, so people weren't paying too close attention. But he has the potential to fit in beautifully with us, and we have the idea of winning a championship to offer to him. He's been a really good player in his career, but he's played on a lot of bad teams, frankly. So I think the appeal to Nick was to come play with this group of players. He's a great fit. We've got a lot of people, and I explained to Nick that the numbers are probably going to be different, but over the course of the season between injuries, resting guys, he's going to get his chance to play, and he fits in beautifully with all the play makers we have. He's one of the best spot-up shooters in the league. He can also create his own shot. We're really excited to have him, and I think he's going to be in a great spot.

Q. With all the movement that went on with a lot of your rivals and big players, Chris Paul to Houston, Paul George to Oklahoma City, is there any move that you were watching that particularly struck you as interesting, maybe not as something that's ultimately going to be the most challenging but maybe would be to you guys? Any chess piece that moved in this situation that you're really going, oh, that's interesting?
STEVE KERR: I mean, the Cleveland-Boston trade, you don't see that often, two big rivals swapping key players for each other. Obviously that's the one everyone will keep an eye on, and I think it makes both teams better in some ways. We will see how it all plays out. Chris Paul going to Houston is a huge move. We know that. It'll be really interesting to see how that plays out, and I thought Rudy Gay signing with the Spurs was interesting, too, because the league has gone obviously to this mode of versatility and length and the ability to play multiple positions, and that's the kind of player Rudy is, and I think he gives them a different look. Those are the ones that jump out, and beyond that, I'm mostly worried about our team and concerned with what we're doing, but it's always fun to follow the rest of the league, too.

Q. Last year's training camp you guys had about 50 percent of the roster that was different heading in. This year what are the benefits of having a very similar roster compared to what you ended the season with, and how do you expect to be different?
STEVE KERR: It's interesting, this year reminds me of two years ago, training camp, with the continuity, almost the exact roster coming back. Camp will be so much smoother this year than last year because of all the guys we had to incorporate last year and teach our system and our style and our culture. They know it, so we're only adding a couple of players. But having all of our vets, KD and Zaza, David, having all those guys comfortable with what we're doing already along with the core group that's been here the last few years, I expect that we'll be able to get right into camp and make progress right away without having to build too much of the foundation. The foundation is already there. I think we'll be better this year. We're deeper. As I talked about, the continuity is really important. But the challenge is obvious. Three years in a row in The Finals, trying to make it a fourth. Very few teams in the history of the league have done that, and there's a reason. It's a long haul, so we're going to have to navigate the season, pace ourselves but not lose our edge, and that's the balance we're looking for.

Q. Along those lines, what does it say about how Bob was able to keep this roster together and the unselfishness of a lot of the guys on your roster to make that happen, and what did you learn sort of with all the different ways you tried the rotations mixing and matching throughout last year that you can apply?
STEVE KERR: Well, first of all, Bob is amazing. He really is. He does such a great job, not only of picking players and finding guys who make sense for us, but just in terms of helping with that culture of unselfishness that you just mentioned. Obviously it's up to the players to really apply that, and it comes very naturally to them, Steph and KD and Andre. Andre was the guy who set the tone by going to the bench three years ago, and these guys are all really into playing together as a team. That's what makes it fun.

What I've learned is first of all I'm really lucky because I've got a bunch of play makers, I've got a bunch of versatility to play with, so a lot of the things that we try, it's not that far fetched, right; we can plug a lot of guys into different spots because they plug a lot of holes. So the interesting thing this year will be we've got a lot of mouths to feed, and if you look at our bench, how many guys have been full-time starters coming off the bench, JaVale, Andre, Shaun, Nick Young, David West, and I'm probably missing a couple. Omri has been a starter in this league. We've got a lot of guys who are used to playing big minutes, but our players understand what this is about. There's a bigger picture than just playing time and points per game and stats, and that's why a lot of them have come here the last couple years. I'm going to work with them. I'm confident they're going to work with us, and we'll figure out the right formula.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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