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June 10, 2015

Kyrie Irving


Q.  Could you explain what your mindset is and how you feel going through this process right now?  And how did the injury occur from your point of view?
KYRIE IRVING:  Well, I think I drove right.  I tried to stop on a dime.  I've done it a thousand times, and I think Klay‑‑ I tried to get out of it with my knee.  I tried to stop myself, and all my force went on my knee, and I believe Klay hit it, and it hit it in the right spot at the right time and fractured my kneecap.
It's a tough situation to be in, especially in the Finals at the biggest stage.  Dealing with injuries all throughout the playoffs is definitely tough, and it's a test of your will.
But for me to go out like that, fractured kneecap, out three to four months, it's tough to definitely process.  But having the teammates that I have and the coaching staff and the organization I'm part of, it makes that process a lot easier, just being at home watching these guys play and texting all the guys and FaceTiming all the guys as much as possible.  Just let them know I'm there for them no matter what, I'm going to be riding with them no matter what.
But it's definitely tough right now to comprehend.

Q.  Coach Blatt said last night that you're Delly's No. 1 fan.  How would you grade his performance in your absence so far?
KYRIE IRVING:  I'm definitely not surprised as much as everyone else is.  For me, from the first time I met him in the summer of‑‑ what year was he drafted?  '12?  Excuse me, excuse me.  We were in summer workouts in Vegas together.  First time I went to Vegas, first time I played against him, he commanded my respect.  Whether that be in a pick‑up game or us playing a scrimmage in practice, it was going to be hard fought, and I knew exactly what I was getting myself into.
So once you step into thatI want to call it a ring with Delly, you better be ready to rumble.  So for anyone that's ready to go, he's ready to go all the time.

Q.  Last week you spoke eloquently about how you've become a fan of LeBron and how your relationship with him has grown.  How in awe have you been about what he's been able to do in this series?
KYRIE IRVING:  Oh, man, just the conversations that we've had all season, whether it be him talking to me or me talking to him, having that killer mindset throughout the whole entire game, not necessarily worrying about shot attempts or‑‑ everyone knows in this room he's an efficient guy, and he has that attitude going in.  But for us to be successful, we just need him to continue what he's doing and have that killer mindset.  Destroy anyone and everyone that's in front of him.
And I think he's taking the reins completely, and everyone's stepping up.  And that's what we need going forward to win this NBA Championship.

Q.  Did you feel or did the doctors tell you that the condition of your knee made it more susceptible to injury on that play?
KYRIE IRVING:  No, I was not any more susceptible.  My knee in terms of the stability was great.  Obviously there was a risk going out there playing anyway, no matter what.  But in terms of everything that was inside of my knee stability‑wise, everything was fine.
I trusted my trainers.  I trusted my body.  It was just a freak play.  I felt good throughout the whole entire game.  It wasn't about the minutes or anything like that that everyone wants to kind of speculate about, our training staff.  It was me who decided to go out and play.  Put my body on the line.
It happened in overtime.  It could have happened in any given moment in the game.  But in terms of me going out there, I felt great.
That's probably the thing that hurts the most is how great I felt going into that game, and then one freak moment how it could all kind of end for three to four months.
I mean, I wouldn't do it any different, like I said on my Instagram post or on Twitter, I don't have any regrets for the decision I made.  I trust our organization, and I trust our training staff to the full extent.

Q.  What would it mean after everything that you guys have gone through and you've gone through to get a championship?  Do you find some, I guess, satisfaction that at least you got to play in a game?
KYRIE IRVING:  At this point we all have selfish ways, including myself.  I wanted to win it for the city, for my family, for my teammates.  But at this point sitting back and as a fan and as a teammate, now it's no longer about anything that's going on with me.  I don't want the guys to feel sympathetic or anything like that or feel bad, because I'm pretty sure the Warriors don't feel bad at all over anyone else.
I want them to stay focused.  For me I'm as crazy as trying to FaceTime Iman Shumpert as he goes into the locker room for his shoulder just so I can give him a five‑minute pep talk about how much we need him.  Just things like that I sit back and now I'm just admiring all these guys, whether they're playing hurt or anything like that.
Everything that we've had to endure all season, all the goals that we set, now they have to go out and accomplish it.  Now I'm just sitting back as a fan and enjoying it.

Q.  Did you kind of in your mind know when you were walking off the floor in Oakland that it was season‑ending?
KYRIE IRVING:  Yeah, yeah, I kind of knew.  The way it felt, it was something I hadn't felt before.  Walking to the bench I looked at our trainer, Steve, and I'm just like, man.  I'm walking around and I was like this doesn't feel right, and I had to walk off the court, and that was it.

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