GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS MEDIA CONFERENCE
September 25, 2022
San Francisco, California, USA
Q. How much momentum did you gain from last season? I think a year ago you were hoping to play till you were 40, hinting that way. How do you feel going into this after another championship and just at the top of your game?
STEPHEN CURRY: That championship glow is real. Obviously you enjoy the off-season and know all the work you've put in over the course of your career and especially the last three years. To get back there was meaningful, and you embrace it and appreciate it. Appreciate the vibe you've built with the new look team built on the core, the guys that have been around the block.
Very excited about what it means coming into this season trying to defend, knowing there will be new challenges for everybody as a team and everybody individually.
And embracing it. My 14th year. I feel fresh and prime, ready to go. I feel like in my head still getting better. Trying to feed off that. Understand it's a long journey and we are doing some defensive strategy and stuff like that yesterday, and it kind of felt for a second we were still preparing for the Celtics and the Finals series because it didn't feel like that long ago.
We are on hopefully another nine-month journey starting yesterday. And it's exciting. You're blessed to play this game at the highest level and understand that we still have an opportunity to win a couple more championships.
Q. Last year, you guys didn't hide from the fact that outside naysayers were part of the motivation in the process of that nine-month journey. How much is the "You guys will never do it, you guys can't repeat" sort of conversations feeding into motivation this year, or is there a different motivation and you have to change the chip on the shoulder?
STEPHEN CURRY: Probably a little bit of both. It'd be dumb to try to nay say us and actually think people are going to take you seriously. But we also know a lot goes in to winning a championship and it's not a guarantee every year, no matter how much of a chip on our shoulder we have. You just kind of embrace the work and the motivation.
For me, it's the genius question about where you are in your career and really reestablishing what is it to be in your prime and maintaining that level of play for as long as you can. And then also feeding into the fact that everybody on our team is in a different situation and has to embrace whatever that is for themselves and bring their best self every single day.
And as leaders of the team, we have to encourage that as much as possible and find chemistry with the new additions that we have and guys who are going to be more -- have a more significant role in our rotation from jump.
So usually that stuff takes life of its own as you get into the heat of the battle as you get closer to opening night.
Q. Some guys feed on adversity and negative talk, so forth. Is it going to hurt you if it goes the other way? Like today, Giannis was saying, for instance, "Steph Curry is the best." Will it soften --
STEPHEN CURRY: What?
Q. Will it soften you if people are too nice to you?
STEPHEN CURRY: You said what?
Q. Giannis, he said you're the best.
STEPHEN CURRY: Thought you were making that up (laughter).
Q. I guess they had their Media Day, too, and he offered that.
STEPHEN CURRY: I got you. What's the question? Thank you for telling me that.
Q. You get motivation if people are talking bad about you and putting you down; is it too much the opposite way, people be too nice?
STEPHEN CURRY: I don't know if it was gamesmanship to set the table for -- I would say the same thing when you're facing the champions. That's part of like the nature of the league. We all want to win the championship, and when you look at the team that's the last team standing and who was playing the best, I was thinking the same thing about him last year, coming off their run.
So I appreciate the compliment. It's not going to soften me up to get complacent at all. But you do appreciate the respect of your peers to say stuff like that, and I've been in the situation where I'm complimenting guys around the league a lot as well.
Q. How different did this off-season feel given that you made this long run to the Finals but you had not done the two previous years? And related to that, as you look forward, what do you think about managing minutes? Steve has talked about that and wanting to do that for and you Draymond and Klay as you get to later in your career. How important is that?
STEPHEN CURRY: I think me and my off-season team talked about that a lot around the balance between the championship celebration, the -- when it's time to turn the page and get ready for this coming year, the difference in the schedule from 2020 and that nine-month-long off-season to five months last year to now three months and then comparing that to we did that five years in a row at one point, playing into June and having that quick turnaround.
So we have experienced a little bit of everything, which helps, because it gives me confidence no matter what you need to do, you'll be able to find a way to get it done and have a recharge mentally and physically to get ready for the year.
So I'm glad the season is back because I feel repaired. I only took like two weeks off and kind of understood that especially as you get later in your career, you can't really have -- you don't have time to really get too far away from it because it's too hard to build back up. So there's a lot of experience and collaboration on what that looks like in the summers.
And then the minutes question, there's always -- I think the last couple years there's been more conversations around what that looks like. Like I know I can play 36 and feel great every single night. That's me as a competitor.
Obviously my opinion matters, but there's trust knowing we'll put ourselves in the best position to win and knowing there's room to ebb and flow on either side of that depending how the season is going. Coach is a very smart man and will make smart decisions.
Q. What was the favorite thing you did this off-season non-basketball related?
STEPHEN CURRY: I don't know, there was a lot of great things. Going back to Davidson was special for sure, knowing how long in the making that was and celebrating not only my accomplishment in the classroom and as a Davidson basketball player and all that but also celebrating Coach McKillop and his 33 years leading the program.
And he's a very humble guy. That celebration was obviously centered around me, but it was more of a reflection of what he's built in that program and the results of the human beings that have gone through and come out of that program and done some amazing things, not just in the NBA but all around.
That was a special, special time, especially coming off a championship where none of that happens without him and sending me off on my ways, the three years that I was there.
Q. Andre, him coming back, he will provide mentorship. Having him back, what does that do specifically for you, and do you believe it when he says it's his final season?
STEPHEN CURRY: Yeah, he didn't say that last year. He kind of was a little vague coming back. We all assumed it was his last year. But he's planting his flag now, which I think, for him, is a healthy way for him to approach this year, knowing he's giving everything he's got.
The point of him coming back, there's a lot of talk about him being the mentor first. That's kind of the narrative a little bit. But he's not coming back if he doesn't think he can play and contribute, whether it's 10 minutes, 20 minutes. You know, big game creeping up, maybe even more. Playing consistently maybe in the second half of the season.
He's not here to be a coach first, player second. So excited about what he can prove on that front, but obviously the mentorship is a big part of the presence that he brings in the locker room, on the court, front office, management. He's a sound box for everybody and a voice of reason for everybody.
It's built on 19 years of him being who he is. And it was a great podcast to listen to hearing he's coming back. 2022 saying that, it's hilarious, podcast announcements. Phenomenal.
Q. Your thoughts on the 6 on your jersey, and also, too --
STEPHEN CURRY: What did you say?
Q. The 6, Bill Russell. Also, LeBron, Chris Paul, Draymond, they all had their words about Robert Sarver. I was wondering if you had any comments about what happened there and your fellow NBA brethren speaking up about it?
STEPHEN CURRY: I'll start with that. I think the outcome was exactly what should have happened.
I had conversations with Adam Silver directly and kind of got his point of view of what decisions and, I guess, mechanisms he had to intervene and bring down a punishment that was worthy of the actions that we were all responding to and representing the league as a whole and protecting the integrity of the league and the standard that we set terms of from execs, ownership, all the way down to players. There should be a standard around what's tolerable and what's not.
And so, again, the outcome was exactly what it should have been. Honestly, I thought with the punishment that was handed down, it would have dragged out a little longer; but I'm glad we got to a point where hopefully the team is up for sale sooner than later and can kind of move on knowing that's where it should be.
So for LeBron, CP, Draymond, everybody using their platforms to speak on it, even Adam picking up the phone and answering calls from the top players who have vested interests in protecting the league as well, all that stuff matters, and you want to have swift responses and reactions to stuff like that.
And then this (6) is special, knowing what Bill Russell meant to the league in a very pivotal time in society and the early days of what the NBA meant in the country and the things he did on and off the court, rose above. This is a very special symbol of how far we've come but also to keep his spirit alive in terms of doing the work that he made his life's work.
I've actually been reading a little bit of his work and really understanding what he went through even before he got to the league and some of the ways that he impacted civil rights in our country and also, you know, allowed the NBA to be what it is today. Definitely a special tribute in that every team is retiring No. 6 is special.
Q. Steve said yesterday it was the vets versus the youngsters.
STEPHEN CURRY: It was like that today, too.
Q. He said it was lopsided, and what do you think about that dynamic?
STEPHEN CURRY: It's supposed to be. It's supposed to be like that. We know what we are doing. We have good chemistry. We are just coming off playing in the Finals three months ago and also setting the tone of what it means to play for this team and what we do. I understand that, hey, young guys got to be patient with what that process looks like, but they have to be committed to it.
We have a really good group of young guys who are approaching it the right way and who are going to get the rewards in due time if they stick with the program and just come ready to work every day.
So with all our success, it's easy to forget like when we first -- when I was a rookie, I had no idea what I was doing. And obviously we have a real set system now that has some championships behind it and has a little more oomph.
From their perspective, it's probably overwhelming, but just stick with the program and knowing you're going to be better for it and we are going to be better for it as a team.
Q. Contract negotiations with various guys will be a topic the next couple weeks. Is that something you want open in the locker room, not an "elephant in the room" type thing, and would you like to see some of your teammates get locked in more long term?
STEPHEN CURRY: Absolutely to both those questions.
A good organization is going to have those talks, especially with me, Andre, Draymond, we have those conversations, knowing that every decision is meaningful in terms of us putting the best team together and keeping things moving in terms of being championship contenders every single year.
So you want that to be the spirit of how decisions are made and, you know, we want the best chance to win every single year. And we're proving with this squad, that's what the results have been. So we want to keep that together for as long as we can. That's the goal.
So yes and yes.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports