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NBA FINALS: HEAT v SPURS


June 15, 2014


Kawhi Leonard


SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS: Gam Five

San Antonio Spurs テや 104
Miami Heat テや 87


Q.テつ What was your emotions like when they showed you winning that MVP?テつ You just looked up in the sky.テつ What were you thinking at that point, and did you even think you would win this award?
KAWHI LEONARD:テつ At the moment, I was just happy.テつ Just had faith throughout the whole game, but I didn't think at all I was about to win the MVP of the Finals.

Q.テつ You had that embrace with your mom.テつ What did she say to you at that point?
KAWHI LEONARD:テつ She was just happy for me.テつ Just a lot of screaming and yelling.テつ But she was just happy.テつ Like everybody is just living in the moment right now.テつ Really don't know what's going on.

Q.テつ You were seven years old when the Spurs won last time, and Tim Duncan was the youngest guy to win the MVP trophy.テつ Do you even remember anything about it?テつ Did you share any words with team about winning 15 years later?
KAWHI LEONARD:テつ Not yet.テつ I mean, we're still just celebrating this win.テつ I really don't remember.テつ I don't think I watched the Finals when I was 7 years old.テつ Probably just busy playing kid games, running around.

Q.テつ What is the biggest difference from last year's team as opposed to this year's team that got over the hump?
KAWHI LEONARD:テつ Just more focus and having guys that have been there like me and Danny, and a couple of other guys.テつ It was our first Finals appearance last year, and I just felt like us having that experience and going through that loss pushed us even harder this year.

Q.テつ Boris Diaw never won a championship until this season.テつ How did he help you guys in the locker room to stay hungry to be able to win this title?
KAWHI LEONARD:テつ What did he say, tell us to say hungry?

Q.テつ No, but how he's not won a championship before.テつ And he helped you in the locker room, the fact that he wanted to win his first title, some of the guys that hadn't won it?
KAWHI LEONARD:テつ Just being focused.テつ Wanting to win, preparing themselves right.テつ He played a great series also.テつ He was rebounding the ball and passing very well.

Q.テつ Talk about the attitude of this team.テつ Every player on the team was able to accept their role to be able to get to this point.
KAWHI LEONARD:テつ Like I said, we pretty much had the same team last year.テつ We knew where we got to, and there was no choice but to accept our role, and we did.テつ We worked out our role every day throughout the 82‑game season, and here we are.

Q.テつ This award came for you on Father's Day. テつI wonder if it had any special meaning for you as you remembered your own dad.
KAWHI LEONARD:テつ It is a very special meaning for me knowing that he's gone and I was able to win a championship on Father's Day.テつ But, I mean, I'm just happy just winning the championship.テつ Like I told you all, my dad died six years ago, and I really wasn't thinking about him that much.

Q.テつ You seemed to struggle during the first two games of this series.テつ What did Popovich say to you to turn your game around in Game 3?
KAWHI LEONARD:テつ I really struggled in Game 2.テつ We won Game 1.テつ Shot the ball pretty well, but, I mean, he just wanted me to go out and be aggressive, have fun and play the game.
It was just up to myself to dig down deep and go through adversity.

Q.テつ Three seasons with the Spurs, you went to the Finals twice, you win Finals MVP tonight.テつ To be part of this kind of success in such a short amount of time in your career, how surreal is it?
KAWHI LEONARD:テつ It just feels like a dream to me.テつ But like you said, this is my second Finals appearance in my third year.テつ I've been just progressing each year and the team has also.テつ Losing in the semifinals my first year, and losing the championship my second year, and now winning in my third year, it just makes you believe in your craft and your hard work.

Q.テつ The series playing against back‑to‑back defending champions, did you ever expect to see the series come out this way?
KAWHI LEONARD:テつ No, I didn't.テつ I mean, we fought hard.テつ We knew how we could beat the Heat, and we just had to come in and just prepare ourselves from last year's loss.テつ I felt like we watched a lot of film about the last year's series, and we came out and did everything right this year and that's how the outcome became.

Q.テつ With the type of performance that you put up in the Finals, do you feel any type of pressure going forward as a Spur and just in your career now that you've had that type of success and putting on this type of performance and winning MVP?
KAWHI LEONARD:テつ No, I really never feel pressure.テつ Everyday life is pressure.テつ But I'm not thinking about that now.テつ We just won today, and that's probably going to be later on in time if I start deciding or thinking about that.テつ But right now I'm just celebrating the win.

Q.テつ How big of an influence has Tim Duncan been on your career and your basketball life?
KAWHI LEONARD:テつ Just coming here and seeing him prepare every day and having that drive and will to want to win at the age he is and after winning all the championships he's won before I got here just motivated me to go even harder because I'm young, and I couldn't really do it every day.テつ Just seeing him at that age just inspired me.

Q.テつ We want to ask you about your defense.テつ Not only your offense was excellent, but those three games, especially Games 3 and 4, the defense you put on LeBron James, could you just tell us what was on your mind because you were just awesome with your defense there?
KAWHI LEONARD:テつ Just wanting to win.テつ I mean, LeBron did good in Game 3 and 4.テつ He averaged about 30 points in the series.テつ Just preparing and watching film with the team and seeing how we could stop them as a team and slow them down, that's how I prepared for the series.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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