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September 25, 2022

Draymond Green

San Francisco, California, USA

Media Conference

Q. Klay just left, and he said if you're not yelled at by Draymond, then you probably shouldn't be playing for the Warriors. It's just a by-law by now. It's part of it. We don't take it personally. They appreciate your fire. How is it going already just a couple days on the court?

DRAYMOND GREEN: It's been an amazing couple days. Two great practices. And coming off a championship, your worry is always that you have that hangover. And, quite frankly, you're not certain that you don't have the hangover only after two practices, but you get a good sense of the guys that you have, of the team that you have.

For me, I think it's a very comforting feeling coming back and seeing guys humming and connecting on all levels.

And that's what it's about. You don't want to get out of the gates to an awful start. I know that's always possible, and it's something that could be corrected. You want to get off to a good start.

So I think that's our focus, and, you know, looking to have a successful run defending the championship.

Q. Tell me about the thought process you had when you made your Sarver comments. How much did you read? Did you talk to LeBron and Chris or just come up with your own take? Guide me through what you eventually said. And perhaps, also, seemed like things -- I don't know if you were the tip of the iceberg on it, but things seemed to change like shortly after. Just your whole thoughts on the Sarver situation?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I didn't talk to many people about it. I read and I listened to everything everyone else said. And for me, I think my thought process was as such -- I've always said: Be sure and certain in what you're asking for.

You know, so many times you come out with these ask, and it's so general that you give someone an out just because the ask is not quite -- it's not quite as particular as it should be.

So for me, I just wanted to ask the questions that I asked. You know, if this is governed by a vote, then why isn't there a vote? It's a 100 percent a fireable offense. It's 100 percent a forceable -- to force a sale type of event. So why isn't there a vote if that's what has to happen?

Because I think the one thing we are all certain of is that's what should happen. So if there is a way that that can happen, why haven't those steps been taken?

For me, my goal was just to find out the facts first before speaking out. And that took me a few days of reading and watching and listening to different people, different thoughts, and then to not be unfair to anyone.

So I didn't want to be unfair to the NBA, as I said on my podcast. The NBA has been great, and decisions that they had to make and the support that they have shown us as players, things that we stand for and things that they have gotten behind and still with us on, they have been incredible.

So I didn't want to be unfair and act as if this is just a regular occurrence and they always get it wrong because that's not true. I think you get less done when you take stands like that because then it's very simple to just say: That's not true.

And so for me, I wanted to be fair to everyone involved, including Robert Sarver, including the Phoenix Suns organization. It was very important to be fair because, for me, I didn't -- ultimately, Robert Sarver, he didn't really have an impact or effect on anything that I'm doing. So in sharing my opinion, it was just that. It was my opinion and it was my thoughts on the subject or topic or however you may see fit. It was my opinion and just some thoughts that I thought should take place or some things -- some thoughts and things that I thought should take place.

You know, I was very happy to see that he was selling the team because I think that's right. When you look at some of the things that people has gotten in trouble over, I think that falls under the same boat. And we're all a part of this league, and no one person is bigger than the league. If that's goes for us as players, that goes across the board. We're still all a part of the league, no matter what level you're at.

Q. More of a basketball question if I can. Steve talked the other day about managing minutes for Steph and you and Klay. Obviously that's happened in the past couple years, but I'm just curious, going forward, and particularly with Steph, who is a couple years older than you and Klay, how that looked, how that feels, how important that is. He obviously showed very few signs of age last year. But going forward, how important is that going to be for him and all three of you?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I think it's very important because you want it to last as long as possible. And in doing that, you know, I think one of the things that has been incredible here over the last few years and continues to grow is the trust between our coaching staff and our performance group, led by Rick Celebrini, and our players who ultimately has to be the ones to trust that group.

And when you have a coach that will come to you and say, "I don't care what it is, I don't care what it takes, I just want to make sure that you're right come opening night so that you're as healthy as you can be throughout the season," that's a very comforting thing because that's not always that way.

When you have a training staff or a performance staff, like I said, led by Rick, that comes and will echo the same thing and everything that they do is to get you there, you trust them.

And as much as there are times -- there are times where they will come in and say, "Hey, this probably isn't a good game for you to play." And at times you can get caught up in just the competitive side of it, like, "No. Like, I want to play."

They don't get much argument back from us anymore, from myself, from Steph, from Klay, because that trust has been built.

And so as far as managing minutes and things like that, I would love to sit here and tell you, "Hell no, I'm fine and I just want to play as much as I want to play," but the reality is is I trust our coaching staff, I trust our performance group. They've been incredible for us.

David Taylor with sports science is absolutely amazing and the things that he's been able to teach us about our bodies through all the data that they collect is incredible.

So you just kind of trust in that process, a process that they have taught us, and you roll with their recommendations.

Q. You guys, mainly the veterans, reminded people that you won a fourth and proved a lot of people wrong. Is that specific chip on the shoulder still there, moving to a fifth championship, or does it morph now?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I don't think it's the same chip. I'd be lying to you if I told you it was. But there are chips. There are chips. There's no shortage of chips, I can tell you that.

So, you know, it may not be quite, "Oh, man, people don't think we can do it again," as, like, that opinion is, like, as far from relevant as it can possibly be.

So whoever has that opinion should probably just shut up because it's just not a bright one. And however -- but however, there are chips. They are good ones. So there's no shortage of chips.

Q. You guys have several people entering contract seasons, yourself included. Number one, would you like to get something done before the season extension-wise? And, two, how does going into a contract season like potentially weigh on a player?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I mean, at this point, you know, whether I'd like to or not is -- I don't think it will happen, and so for me, I'm just focused on this season and being as great as I can be and as I know I'm capable of being and winning another championship and reaching my individual goals that I have as well. I think that's my main focus.

Contract situations, contract years, that is a part of this league. I think it weighs on everyone differently. I think the way a contract situation would weigh on me is totally different than the way it would weigh on a Jordan Poole who has never signed a big contract.

So I think all of that matters as well. When you're in different positions of your career and you know, like, all right, you have security or you don't, you know, I think all of those different things plays a part into how one may react to being in a contract year.

And so to each his own. Some people are motivated by contract years, and some people are nervous and struggle during contract years.

I think it's all based on a player. For me personally, I think, for me, anytime it's a contract year is motivation. And that's kind of how I approach it and how I view it. And it's always been the way I've viewed it. I've historically been the guy to bet on myself even when others didn't believe. I've always felt confident betting on myself, and nothing changes for me now.

Q. What were the hangovers like for those three championships back in 2015 to 2018?

DRAYMOND GREEN: Well, I think, to be quite honest, I don't think we've really had much of a hangover. We backed up 2015 by winning the most games in NBA history. You know, then we lost in the Game 7, and then we won a championship again, and we backed that up by winning another championship, and then we backed that up by going to another NBA Finals and ultimately losing that NBA Finals.

So I don't -- I don't think, you know, if there was any season that may have been a championship hangover for us, maybe it was 2019, just after doing it over and over again.

But even then, I don't think that was like, oh, man, we have a hangover from our success. If anything, it's like, all right, let's manage ourselves to get to this day so we can do it again.

I don't think we have experienced much of that yet, but it does happen. You have to -- in order for it not to happen to you, you have to be aware of it and know that it is possible and then do the things necessary that it takes so you don't go through it.

Q. That was kind of like my part B of the question, is you guys talked so much about how this past championship felt different because of what you guys have gone through. Does that put you at higher risk for that hangover, or, as you were saying, you have so many chips on your shoulder still that it isn't really a concern?

DRAYMOND GREEN: No, I don't think it puts us at higher risk. Quite frankly, for us, this group, you don't know how many opportunities you have left to do it again. And so because of that, you have to take advantage of the ones that you do know that you have. And for us, the ones that we know for certain that we have is this year. You want to perform as good as you possibly can. You want to make the most out of the year. And obviously the most that you can do is win a championship, and that's our focus and that's our goal.

So that's what we're striving for this year just like every other year.

Q. You have a lot of young guys right now who obviously have won a title but don't really know what it takes to repeat and summoning that energy. How do you as a leader of the team make sure that there is no lacking from the younger guys and making sure that they know how to summon that energy for a repeat title?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I think, number one, is bringing it every day. You have to set a tone, starting in camp and in practices. I think that's extremely important, is being certain that we are setting a tone the way that a winning culture like we have built should be set.

And I think, you know, looking at the first two days, we have done that. Obviously you have to continue to build on that day after day and start stacking great days together, but with the two opportunities that we have had, we have done that.

I think that there's also -- you know, there's also some communication in that as well and just kind of trying to help guys understand what lies ahead. Help them in knowing that last year was great and it was hard to win a championship; to repeat is way harder and what it takes to do that.

But that's not something that you learn overnight. That's not something that you learn in the first two practices or even first two weeks of training camp. That's something that you build over the course of time. But a foundation has to be built in regards to that.

And so you start right away just trying to help guys understand what lies ahead. And I think with us having so many guys that's been there before -- myself, Loon, Steph, Klay, Andre, Steve, Q., Raymond Ritter -- you have guys all around you that has experienced that success, and it's on everyone to continue to remind and continue to teach guys what's next, what's coming ahead, how teams will attack you.

You know, Jordan Poole, you had some success last year, right; what teams are going to try to do to you now, now that they have had a year of game planning for you.

And so just really helping guys understand that road ahead is important, but it's a constant job and a constant process. It's not something that you're able to teach right off the bat. It requires some going through -- taking some lumps and going through experiences that's not so pleasant and using those moments to teach, but yet you try to teach as much as you can just by teaching it and not the hard lessons.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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