GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS MEDIA CONFERENCE
May 21, 2021
San Francisco, California, USA
Memphis Grizzlies 117, Golden State Warriors 112 (OT)
Q. How are you digesting the way the this season ended?
STEPHEN CURRY: I have no idea. This is very unfamiliar territory, obviously with the playing, and this being the end of the season. Very tough way to end it with these last two games coming down to the wire and us giving everything we had in the tank. Proud of every single person in an Oakland uniform tonight, all season.
You know, from 15 wins last year, injuries and all that, to what we made out of this year, pretty damn impressive. It's a very tough way to go out and we would love to be playing on Sunday. But you can't lose sight of the big picture in terms of where people had us at the beginning of the season, what we were dealt with, with the injuries and youth and inexperience, lineup changes all year -- and we're two fourth quarters away from being a seventh or eighth seed. It's weird all the way around.
But we had a good little session in the locker room after the game where everybody's sick to their stomach, disappointed that this is the end and this is how you're going out, but it's okay to Pat yourself on the back for doing something that really nobody thought we could do. So I don't think there's any -- what's that -- what's that terminology, more victories, but this is -- it's weird. Because we're not used to this but we're definitely proud of ourselves.
Q. And what did you feel pouring out of you as a competitor with 47 minutes tonight?
STEPHEN CURRY: Just give yourself a chance to have another game, whatever it takes. So especially with the way they were defending me, L.A. last game, just keep grinding. Keep pressing, trying to find opportunities. And to come back from eight down in less than three minutes, over time, have an opportunity to win, that's all you can ask for. Not going to sit here and say I'm happy by any stretch because you want to get the win, but it was an amazing experience.
And again, something that you take a pole at the beginning of the season, nobody thought we would be here.
Q. I know the loss is obviously fresh, but as you look towards the off-season, I don't know if we're going to get a chance to talk to you in the coming days, but what changes do you think need to be made moving forward and what path do you want this franchise to take heading into next season?
STEPHEN CURRY: I have no idea. I'm sure Raymond Ridder will give me some time to process about what just happened and thoughts on the future, but I got nothing on that right now.
Q. For the last several weeks, you've been talking about making this season mean something. Now that it's over, do you feel like it has?
STEPHEN CURRY: Yes and no. I would love a playoff experience and seven-game series and see how we respond to that challenge. We have two -- I call it three playoff games, the last game of the season and these last two playing situations. It sucks, because you're down 1-2; let's go on a run.
But it's not how it's drawn up in terms of the format, and now we have three months to rejuvenate, re-tool, come back next season, whatever that means. So these last three games, including the homestand, I call it nine games, or eight games, have been pretty awesome in terms of the sense of urgency and us understanding who we are.
Look, we played eight guys for damn near 22 games. We left it all out there. I can't sit here and say I'm not proud of every single guy. I was a part of that. That's hard. You can nitpick any team throughout the course of a season for not living up to expectations, but there's a lot of heart that was shown down the stretch to even give ourselves this opportunity.
So 39-33, two playing games to try to get in, didn't go our way. So have to process that. But super proud of everybody.
Q. You at the end of the game saw the same defenders. Can you talk about seeing a full season of a concentrated season and maybe how they impacted your series?
STEPHEN CURRY: Kept me sharp because I obviously played well. Every game, knowing that you're going to get thrown the kitchen sink at you, it's fun. It's exhausting but it's fun. There's a challenge every night of how you're going to get yours while also open up space for other guys, finding our rhythm offensively, and I don't think I've put together a run like that with that much attention in my career. It was a really rewarding experience, and like I've talked about before, it all comes back to the work you put in in the off-season.
The great ones figure out a way to adapt and understand what the challenge is and not complain about it, not make excuses, but just go out and hoop. That's what I really locked in on all season, but especially since the All-Star Break. There's some joy and fun in that because you know the conversations is how they are going to stop you, and you found ways to keep that question unanswered.
I appreciate that challenge that even at this point of my career, knowing that I've been through, this whole team's been through. Take some time off. Get right back to the work this summer.
Q. Can you win that way? Can this team win at the level you expect that way, with you seeing those type of defenses?
STEPHEN CURRY: I hope so. I mean, obviously that should work into your favor if they want to defend like that over the course of a season, especially in the playoffs. I wish we would have had the opportunity to show that in the series. If I'm in the position that I'm playing the way I did all year this year, it might not look the same numbers-wise, but that aggressiveness and that attention, of course we can win that way, you know, with the right roster. We'll address that in the off-season.
Q. How different will it be next year with Klay back?
STEPHEN CURRY: He's part of our DNAand our championship DNA and what we're about. You saw him tonight, he was chirping and up on the sidelines knowing he misses that environment.
So I know, again, he's going to do everything in his power to get back to 100 percent, knowing what he's been through the last two years. There's going to be a lot of support around to help him get there but whatever version of him comes back is definitely a boost. We'll patiently wait for what that looks like.
Q. In case we don't get to see you for a little bit, is there any Final decision right now on the Olympics?
STEPHEN CURRY: Not yet. Obviously everything was geared towards extending the season as far as possible. I know there's a lot of conversations and chatter about the logistics, but I don't know what that looks like for Team USA. So I'm trying to gather enough information to make the right decision for me at the end of the day.
Q. Does the end of this season change that at all?
STEPHEN CURRY: No. This is still kind of a quick turnaround no matter how you look at it, considering we've been grinding every day, every other day for the last five months, six months almost, since November.
Q. For the last two years, you guys have been kicking the can down the road and saying, oh, next year we're going to be back, next year we're looking to be back. Does it give you any solace that you will have a lot of pieces back next year and next year will probably be what you want it to be, but the year that you guys probably return?
STEPHEN CURRY: You can start talking like that now based on how the outcome is tonight, but you never cheat a year or cheat a season by doing -- by saying or focusing on anything but the moment.
I get that there's the 30,000-foot view of who we are as a team and what we're used to in terms of firepower and that consensus that we're who we say we are going into a season and how people view us inside the league, media, whatever.
Those conversations are going to pick up now, but you know, there's a lot of uncertainty and decisions that need to go into this summer for sure, let's keep it real, about how we become that team again and we'll figure those things out as we go. But you know, right now, it's still fresh, this journey we've been on since November, and the guys I've been able to suit up with, there's been a lot of growth and development.
And again, from 15 wins to where we are now, that's not what we're used to but it's a step in the right direction in terms of getting back there.
Q. Did it feel like every time you guys got in a rhythm or hit a big shot, that they had an answer? Morant or somebody else came up with a big play. Even despite that, to see what Jordan was able to do in the closing seconds, passing the ball and shooting, what did that mean to you and to see the contributions from Juan down the stretch, too, and the new contract, how special were those things?
STEPHEN CURRY: I mean, everything was special about this year. Again, because -- you're always a prisoner of the moment, but your expectations kind of change and shift from time to time throughout the season. I'd clearly remember somebody picked us 14th in the West. You know, coming in preseason polls or whatever the case was after Klay got hurt and we all know that, and you go through the season, you've got new guys, some young guys trying to make their opportunity throughout the season, JP, Juan, like you said, have taken tremendous strides throughout the year. We've had some injuries, D-Lee goes out with COVID. We're down to eight guys for the last almost quarter of the season, and we find a way to give ourselves an opportunity to talk about playoffs, be about the playoffs and have a shot to get in there. You know, when it doesn't happen, obviously it's frustrating, but we're -- like I said, I'm proud of everybody that was a part of what we've accomplished this year.
And you can talk about individual stuff, you can talk about the collection of guys that were out there this year -- I mean, this last little stretch and what we -- what we didn't have, what we lacked, but we did have a lot of heart and you know, two guys that you mentioned, exemplified that to the fullest. Just didn't go our way, I don't know how many different ways to say it, but it was a special year all things considered, and a new experience for me, Draymond, Loon, try it make the most of it. Bottle this up, everybody make the right stride, take advantage of the summer and see us next year.
Q. I asked Steve about this. Obviously turnovers hurt you guys the last couple games. He said fatigue may have been a factor. Was fatigue a factor, do you think, because you guys rode pretty hard with that eight-man roster.
STEPHEN CURRY: Yeah, we did. I never -- that's coach talk. I never talk about fatigue as a player. But a lot of it was knowing how defenses were guarding us and trying to make the right play, and sometimes you kind of force things or play too fast because you don't want to get -- for me, don't want to get in a crowd. We played two -- the No. 1 defense in the league in L.A. and a really solid defense in Memphis.
There were some pivotal turnovers that bit us a little bit, but I think the intentions were right and we were trying to make the right play and sometimes it doesn't go your way. That's something to nitpick for sure. It's a part of the game, that you have to have solid possessions and get solid shots.
But I loved our aggressiveness and intentions, and a couple of those plays go our way, we connect on some of those passes or whatever the case is, shore up some of those handles, we keep a little momentum or gain some momentum but it didn't go our way. So it's something that as players, we definitely hold ourselves to the highest standard and understand that in games that matter, do you have to be solid with the ball. Didn't go our way.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports