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June 1, 2016

Stephen Curry

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. This obviously on the surface is a rematch of last year, but both teams are different. What do you expect to be the difference in this series of what we saw last year?
STEPHEN CURRY: I mean, I know we're a better team than we were last year, just off experience and what we've been through in this post season, better equipped to kind of handle the scene of The Finals and all that's kind of thrown at you when you get here.

The first time it's a whirlwind, and obviously they have some guys healthy back that weren't available last year and are playing some really good basketball and rolling through the Eastern Conference. We have some similarities in how we play. Obviously relying on the outside shot and how you free up guys to get good looks playing pretty high intensity. It's just a matter of who can impose their will early and often and try to gain control of the series as it goes through.

But I know we're prepared for pretty much anything and have a pretty good game plan going into Game 1.

Q. With them going smaller, do you expect Klay to play a bigger role in the offense this year as opposed to last?
STEPHEN CURRY: He's a better player than he was last year, so he's obviously done that the entire season and in the Playoffs up until this point, so I don't see why that would change at all. Like I said, another year under your belt and being here for the second time, I think everybody will be more ready for this stage and him included.

Q. Between the NBA Finals and the Stanley Cup Final and Copa America going on in Santa Clara on Friday night, what's the buzz like in the Bay Area in general? And on a personal note, considering your relationship with Lionel Messi, what do you expect to see from him in this tournament and the U.S. National Team?
STEPHEN CURRY: This is great for sports fans, regardless of if you follow each respective sport all year-round or whatnot, this is a great time to kind of tune in and be a sports fan in the Bay Area. So, obviously, the world's eyes are going to be here in Oakland, San Jose, Levi Stadium. So it's fun. I was in an Uber yesterday, and the guy was talking to me about all three different things going on, and just the excitement over that ten-minute drive that he had, that in a nutshell speaks volumes about how much sports means to the fans around here and excited to be a part of that and obviously on the court here at Oracle, but I'll be watching the other two events as well.

Q. Did you just say you were in an Uber?
STEPHEN CURRY: Of course (smiling).

Q. During the Playoffs when you're shooting the ball, are there ever times in your head when you're thinking maybe I shouldn't shoot this ball, or do you have a perpetual green light?
STEPHEN CURRY: That's the trap you kind of get into if you watch us play, and you might think there are certain bad shots that we take or tough shots or whatnot, but it's obviously a strength of ours to shoot threes, but it's the way that we get them. If we come down, move the ball a couple times, you might take a contested shot, but the ball's been hopping so there's kind of a flow to it and a rhythm to it. It's not as chaotic as it seems to us when we're out there doing it.

So there are times, yeah, where I might take a quick one and look at Coach Kerr or look at Draymond or Klay or whoever and be like, yeah, that's my fault, bad shot. Because I know kind of the flow of how things are going on the floor. But that's a pretty small percentage for sure.

Q. Couple questions I'm just going to throw out about you and LeBron. I asked Klay if he had thought that you had surpassed LeBron as sort of the face of the NBA. And the second one would be do you think your success over the last couple years and last year's Finals has kind of created a rivalry between you two that wasn't there? And finally, should we all stop trying to compare the two of you just because you are so different as players?
STEPHEN CURRY: I'm not in the business of ranking or debating who is what. At the end of the day it's about winning and the fact that we won a championship last year and were the last team standing, obviously is what was most important to me. Us being back here against the Cavs again there are obviously story lines and whatnot that as a basketball fan are pretty cool when you have two teams fighting for the same trophy once again and trying to play at a very high level to help our team get there. At the end of the day, that's all I'm worried about.

It's really annoying for me to be -- that's not what I'm playing for, to be the face of the NBA or to be this or that or to take LeBron's throne or whatever. You know, I'm trying to chase rings, and that's all I'm about. So that's where the conversation stops for me.

Q. For a guy born in 1988, what is your sense of the '80s rivalries, and how did you acquire the knowledge that you have about them?
STEPHEN CURRY: I mean, I've been a fan of the league since I can remember, obviously, with my dad playing 16 years in the league. His first year was the year I was born, so I remember a lot of his career. But as a fan of the league, you might not have watched those series live or seen Magic and Michael play and Bird and all those guys, I didn't see them play live, but you watch all the documentaries, you watch all the stories about what went down and how they advanced the game of basketball and just the high level of competition that it was, and that's inspiring, for sure.

To be in a position now where we can create legacies and have memorable series like last series against the Thunder and now in The Finals, that's pretty special for me to be in that with my teammates and hopefully do some special things as well.

Q. Does going through what you did against Oklahoma City you think make you guys stronger entering these Finals?
STEPHEN CURRY: It gives us an opportunity to capitalize off their momentum, for sure. But we have to take advantage of that. We have a lot of confidence right now and we've been through a lot in the last week and we've been challenged physically and mentally. There's a lot at stake the last three games, so that's put us on edge, for sure.

But we have to bring that same mentality that got us out of the hole 3-1 to Game 1 with the score 0-0. And if we can do that and play with that same hunger and that same fire as if we're playing in an elimination game, I really, really like our chances. But that's going to be the challenge for us to, against a different team with a different game plan, bring that same mindset and take advantage of home court in Game 1.

Q. One serious question. Draymond managed to play with emotion in the last few games and still not cross the line, and obviously he's one flagrant away from a suspension. How do you help keep him in front of that line? And one good-natured question. What was the Uber driver's reaction when you step in the car?
STEPHEN CURRY: Draymond's very aware of his play and his energy and his presence on the floor. So you don't want to get in the way of that. There are times if it's an emotional possession or a call or whatnot that you know could potentially flare-up into something bigger, you want to try to calm him down. Whoever it is, not just Draymond. It's just kind of the protocol for being teammates. If you see something going down, you try to get in the way and calm your brother down as quick as possible, keep his perspective on what we're trying to do and move on to the next play as best you can.

I don't think he's out there thinking about it too much, which we want, because you want him to play freely and play like himself. There is a fine line to it, but we'll roll with that.

The Uber driver, I can't really reenact it, but it was pretty funny. I just kind of laugh and chuckle, because they are surprised that I'm getting in there too.

Q. Another light-hearted one for you. You have a lot of rituals pregame. You cap that whole routine with a shot from the tunnel. Can you talk about the genesis of that, how that began and whether your success in making that shot ever determines your success after that come game time?
STEPHEN CURRY: It started about three years ago. Me and one of our front office guys, Pat Sund -- I don't remember exactly. I think it was maybe a shootaround. I can't remember the first time I did it, but I was shooting it and he walked by and put a kind of funny bet on it. Basically about who is going to buy the next meal. So I get two or three shots at it, and if I didn't make it, I lost, and if I made it, I won.

The usher that stands right there by the tunnel every game, he kind of got wind of it and wanted to give me some good mojo, so he rubbed the ball and gave me a nice underhanded shovel pass, so I can get a rhythm into the shot, and then from then on it became kind of just a pregame thing I did as I walked through the tunnel.

I give myself five shots to do it, if I don't make it, I go back into the locker room. I don't know the study of what my win-loss percentage is based on if I make it or not, but there is a little bit of me that's like, dang, I missed it. Hopefully I make some shots in the game. But I don't think it's been a problem to this point.

Q. One more light-hearted question. I assume you saw the Draymond video from last weekend in which he named all 30-plus guys picked [in the 2012 draft]?
STEPHEN CURRY: That was impressive, yes.

Q. I wonder what your reaction was, and were you surprised he got all the names?
STEPHEN CURRY: I was very surprised. I was the 7th pick, and sometimes I forget one of those for a second. But for him to do 34. But the crazy part is the way he remembered some of them. Because he remembered trades, he remembered who picked where. Sometimes he'd forget the name and he'd say Dallas had the 32nd pick, who was Dallas? And then he'd figure out the name. Whatever keeps you motivated. That's my thing.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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