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May 27, 2015

Steve Kerr


Warriors – 104
Rockets - 90

STEVE KERR:  First of all, I just want to say congrats to Kevin McHale and the Rockets on a great season, a great series.  They have a fantastic team.  They are a handful to guard, and we're well aware that they had some injuries, Beverley, Motiejunas, and they were a tough out.
Other than Game 3, you know, every game was brutally difficult for us, so I just wanted to say that.
And also we were down in Houston over the weekend, or actually I don't even know what day it is anymore, but with the flooding, and we know that a lot of people have suffered down there, and I just wanted to send our thoughts to the people down in Houston who are going through some tough times.

Q.  Your first year and you're headed to The Finals.  You've got the MVP on your team.  I know you want to think game by game and it's not over yet, but how are you feeling right now?
STEVE KERR:  Relieved.  I always think of Pat Riley's great quote when you're coaching in the NBA, there's winning and there's misery, and he's right.  Winning feels like a relief more than anything most of the time.  But to get to The Finals, first time in 40 years for the Warriors, it's more than relief, it's joy.  Our players are feeling it.  I know our fans are.
I'm happy for everybody, especially our fans.  40 years is a long time.
There was a great story the other day that Raymond sent me about a woman who's 105 years old, and she goes by the name of Sweetie, and she's been following the Warriors forever and loves the Warriors and wonderful story about how much joy she gets watching our games and following our team.  You know, you think a lot about people like that who have been following the team for a long time and how they're feeling.  I'm happy for all of our fans and especially Sweetie if you're watching out there.  Congrats.

Q.  In the previous game, Steph goes down.  Tonight Klay gets nailed.  Looks like the door might open for the Rockets to make a run, but instead you get a Harrison Barnes run.  Just kind of talk about that.
STEVE KERR:  Well, Harrison was brilliant.  You know, he gets 24 points on a night when, as you said, Klay goes down after his big first half, and he had the foul trouble, so Harrison steps up and takes care of the scoring.  But I could go down the list.  Festus Ezeli was terrific, his work on Howard, his work in the paint, and then Andre Iguodala might have had the greatest six‑point game I've ever seen in my life.  We put him on James a lot tonight.  We felt like that was ultimately the best match‑up.  He's played him some during the series.  But James is a brilliant player, so difficult to stop.  Andre is as smart a defensive player as I've ever seen.  He reminds me a lot of Scottie Pippen.  I thought Andre's defense on James was absolutely brilliant, and really the key to the whole game.

Q.  Not the most artistic of games tonight.  Does it seem strange to sort of reach this plateau with a very un‑Warriors‑like performance or was this the best game you've seen in a long time?
STEVE KERR:  I thought the defensive performance was brilliant, was fantastic.  This is what happens in the Playoffs.  I can remember so many games as a player where Michael Jordan, for example, has a tough shooting night, but he rebounds and defends and does everything he needs, Scottie, David Robinson, Tim Duncan, all the star players and the great teams, they have to rely on defense at this stage of the Playoffs.  Every possession is a difficult one.
We were the No.1‑ranked defense in the league this year, and so I would counter your phrase and I would say this was in many ways a very Warriors‑like performance.

Q.  You may want to shoot me down on this.  Don't.  Have you guys done some homework already on Cleveland?  If so, how much, and what impresses you about the team you're going to be facing in The Finals?
STEVE KERR:  So they beat Atlanta?

Q.  Are you being ironic with me?

Q.  I can take it.
STEVE KERR:  I can tell you I have not given one ounce of thought to Cleveland.  We've had our hands full with Houston, and we've got a week, I guess.  There's plenty of time to get to Cleveland.  No thought whatsoever at this point.  You can't look ahead like that.
We do have advance scouts who have been out watching that series, just like every team does, but not right now.

Q.  There will be a week now to parse out the Cleveland‑Warriors match‑ups and what that series is going to look like.  Can you give us your thoughts on two teams that haven't been at the top of the NBA for a long time?  The Warriors haven't been there for 40 years, the Cavs have never won a championship.
STEVE KERR:  It's great for the league.  It's fantastic for the NBA, not only because of the players involved but the fan bases.  I played in Cleveland for three‑and‑a‑half years.  I had a wonderful experience there.  Those fans are awesome.
The fans here are amazing.  So for each fan base to experience this is‑‑ I think is great.  Both fan bases have supported their respective teams for so many years, and it's always good to see that loyalty rewarded.

Q.  You referenced the old fan.  I just was wondering your thoughts about getting the trophy from Al Attles who has been with this organization since they were in Philadelphia and also your relationship with Al because I know he's not in the office every day but he's around and he's at every game and I know you share a lot in common even though you're not from the same generation.
STEVE KERR:  Al has been around quite a bit.  We actually brought him in during training camp to address our guys.  He's really sort of the unofficial figurehead of the Warriors.  He's been here forever, and his picture is on our wall in the facility with the championship team of '75.  Al is a great man.  He and his wife are a major presence here with the Warriors, and we've spent a lot of time during the season together, whether at games or at practice.  He comes by and says hello, and we're thrilled to be able to share this with him.

Q.  Any update or details on Klay's injury?  I know Iguodala came back, but same thing, any details with his?
STEVE KERR:  He had stitches in his ear.  He was definitely shaken up.  We'll evaluate him tomorrow.
It was a bizarre night for him.  Huge first half that really got us going, and then I left him in too long, he got his fourth foul and I thought I'd buy one possession, see if we could get him a shot, and when he picks up his fifth and when I do bring him back he immediately gets hurt and out for the rest of the night.  The break will be good for him.  It'll probably be good for all the guys with the run we've been on but especially for Klay.

Q.  The Bogut‑Ezeli tandem tonight, really huge on the glass.  How important was it that they established themselves inside with Dwight Howard out there on the court?
STEVE KERR:  It was great.  You know, it's funny, this series started out with Game 1 where we made our big push going small and there was all this talk about how small ball was going to dominate the series, and in Game 5 I don't think we went small for one second.  We played either Boges or Festus the entire game.  I think one of them was on the floor the entire time.  I may be mistaken.  But we felt with Dwight's power down there we needed a big body.  It showed in the rebounding department, 59‑39.  To me that's probably the biggest stat of the game for us to dominate the glass against a powerful team.  I loved our effort there.

Q.  Obviously you've been in this territory many times as a player, and now you're here as a coach.  I'm curious for you personally, how does this compare for you?
STEVE KERR:  It's different.  It's maybe even more rewarding because you feel responsible for a lot of people's welfare and happiness.  But very different because we don't really do anything.  I told Luke Walton before the game, 10 minutes before the game starts, I said, this reminds me of a movie where somebody puts all their plans together, the whole group, and the leader says, you know what we do now, we wait.  And that's what we do.  We plan, we go through practice, we address the team, we tell them what we think we ought to do, and then we just sit there because we don't do anything, the players do everything.
So it's different.  As a player it's great to be able to get out on the floor and really sweat out your anxiety and play through everything.  As a coach you just sit there and you worry.  But I'm thrilled to be coaching these guys.  They're an incredible group, and it's extremely gratifying just to be a part of it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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