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May 21, 2021

Draymond Green

San Francisco, California, USA

Media Conference

Memphis Grizzlies 117, Golden State Warriors 112 (OT)

Q. Draymond, how are you reflecting on this season and its successes and struggles?

DRAYMOND GREEN: Well, definitely had a lot of struggles. Just trying to build such a young, new team. You know, had quite a few rough patches there along the way.

But over the last 20 games or so, you know, we started to figure it out and grow, and a lot of successes came from that. Steph Curry being in the MVP conversations. Myself being in the Defensive Player of the Year conversations. Jordan Poole solidified himself in this league, played 37, 38 minutes tonight. And you know, in an extremely important game.

Juan Toscano-Anderson signed a contract to get more money this year but to also be here next year as we continue to try to build this thing back.

You know, Andrew Wiggins, you know, solidified himself on both sides of the ball. You know, when the game mattered most, he showed up. I think that was always one of the knocks on him every would sell, he averaged 28 points, but what does it mean in the end? That he showed up when it matters most.

You know, I can continue to go down the list. But the reality is, we came up a little short. And so there's no moral victories here. We are still champions and that's always the goal.

So I'm not going to sit here and act like this year was some huge success because we didn't win it. You know, that's always the goal. I think there were a lot of things that came out of this year that, you know, we can definitely appreciate and continue to try to build up on.

But you know, the reality is one team at the end of the year will have had a successful year by any means necessary, and that's whoever goes home as champions. So a lot of successes came out of this year. But ultimately we didn't win it and we got to go back to the drawing board and try to figure this thing out.

Q. How did this season add another layer to the bond that you and Steph have?

DRAYMOND GREEN: It definitely adds a lot. You know, to grow with the -- with the new guys is one thing. You know, it's incredible. It's great. To grow with Steph through all the troubles of growing with the young guys was special.

You know, there were -- I mean, I'm not going to sit here and lie, they were freaking nice, we were sitting there scratching our head looking at each other, like what the hell is going on and how are we supposed to figure this out. And you know, we just continued to fight and claw.

I think what I saw from Steph and the way he grew not only as a player but as a leader this year, was incredible, you know, at times where I felt like this team wanted to quit where -- when it felt like there was no hope.

Man, that guy just kept going at it and kept going at it and kept going at it, his work that he was putting in didn't waiver at all, his confidence that he took the floor with didn't waiver at all no matter what the situation was.

As someone who has played with him for, what, nine years now, that was the most impressive thing that I've seen from him. I know the year was incredible. The shots were incredible, the scoring, you know, all the things that he did was incredible. But what I took away from this year is how he grew as a leader. You know, he stood out in front of us and gave us all someone to follow, and you know, that was the coaching staff, that was everyone, he gave all of us someone to follow, and it was incredible to follow him, and -- and because of that, we're right here.

You know, we had a chance. We had two cracks at it. We failed but we gave ourselves a chance and at the end of the day, that's all you can ask for. And a lot of that is due to the way he led this group. It was really special to be a part of this group and follow him. It was great, and I enjoyed that, and in that, our bond definitely grew way stronger. You know, we got a lot more hell to cause, a lot. So looking forward to it.

Q. Do you have any thoughts on what maybe roster reconstruction tweaks are needed this summer, and how involved do you expect to be in those conversations?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I expect to be extremely involved. It's just the way it's got to be. I definitely expect to be extremely involved as, you know, we -- you have to dive in.

Like I said, this was, you know, looking back on this year, I think there were a lot of successes that came out of this year but we did not win a championship. So you have to go back to the drawing board and try to figure it out. And that's what we're going to do.

I'm looking forward to it. I think that there are some things that need to be discussed between myself, Steph, Klay, coaching staff, front office, like this is -- this has always been a group thing. We've always done it all together and this summer it's extremely important that we do sit down, go back to the drawing board as one if we are going to get back to it is that we want to go. Those conversations has to be had, and I look forward to having them.

Q. How close do you think you guys are to getting to where you want to be?

DRAYMOND GREEN: We're not in the playoffs, so we're a ways away. I may go to México tomorrow or something, but that's not to a gym. That's not to an arena. That's not flying to Utah. So we've got a ways to go because we're not in the playoffs.

So we're far away. In order to win a championship, you've got to be in the playoffs. So we're clearly a ways away. A few tweaks here and there, and we're not that far but right now we're a ways away because we are not in the playoffs.

Q. You played 43 games last year, many of them as the only vet and now you've put in most of this year. How do you feel after a season like this, how does your game feel? And next year you're going to be central to this championship you're talking about. Can you talk about how you feel and how the season has been for you?

DRAYMOND GREEN: The season has had its highs; it's had its lows. I think ultimately, it ended on a pretty decent note. But a lot that I can improve on and I'm looking forward to that. I think kind of re-putting myself in the category that I belong in this league, being a dominant -- being dominant after last year, there were a lot of questions about myself and like do I still got it in the tank, and all of is this that all y'all are saying and everyone else was saying. You know, like, "Oh, I don't know if you got it in the tank no more."

I'm like, "I'm 31 years old, dude, I'm not 39." But I understand it because I did have an all of year last year and we had a bad year. I didn't know I played in that many games by the way, maybe mentally I wasn't in that many games but I didn't think I played in 43 games.

But like I said, in saying that, I think ultimately ending on a high note and looking forward to next year and continuing to build -- I came into this season with goals of being an All-Star again and some unforeseen things happened, you know, to start the year that kind of set me back.

You know, but I -- what I proved to myself moving forward and actually getting my condition to where it was in the beginning of the season and getting my rhythm and flow and confidence back to where it was, I think what I proved to myself is that I can do that again. I can go be an All-Star again. I can mess every team's offense again. I can completely manipulate some team defenses, other team's defenses, and you know, I think if anything, I proved that to myself if I -- you know, and I think that's the most important thing for me is always proving to myself because I know if I can prove something to me, proving it to anybody else is easy.

And so overall, I'm happy with where I'm at. And I think, look out to where I'm going. It will be good.

Q. You mentioned this earlier, you had so many guys coming in and out of the lineup, injuries, rotation changes, but the last six weeks, you rode an eight-man rotation and rode it hard. Do you think that at the end that some of that caught up with you guys in the last couple games because it looked like at times, and Steve mentioned this, he thought there might have been some fatigue going on. But what did it mean to you going these last six weeks with an eight-man rotation and grinding it out?

DRAYMOND GREEN: Super proud of the group for actually grinding throughout that because it was tough. As we know, the schedule wasn't easy with the travel and all the COVID testing, getting up early in the morning, testing, testing late at night. You know, there was times where we tested three times a day. And this wasn't like, you know, a five-hour period. This was 8:00 to 9:00 a.m., 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 to 11:00 p.m. Like there were a period of the season where we did that daily, you know, and so the mental fatigue, you know, that added up, as well as the physical fatigue.

Did it play a role down the stretch? I'm never one to make excuses, but absolutely, I know I was freaking exhausted this whole game. But you just try to gut through it, and by the way. And by the way, I know Memphis is exhausted. I mean, they been flying back and forth from here to there, wow, having just as crazy if as not as crazy schedule and obviously all the COVID stuff.

In reality, both teams were fatigued in my opinion and they made the necessary plays down the stretch to win the game. But there was, you know, that's just the reality. There was definitely some fatigue.

But I think, you know, when you get to this point of the season, just about everyone is fatigued, if you're one of those top teams that you had a luxury of resting your guys, then you kind of can catch another wind. But when you're grinding every game, every game matters. It's a different -- it's a different beast.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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