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June 3, 2016

Klay Thompson

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. When did you develop that sense of pride in being a great defender?
KLAY THOMPSON: I would say I started as a kid. Playing one-on-one with my brothers growing up, I think I developed that instinct, just big brother, little brother, score on me. So it just carried over from when I grew up to now the pros.

And the best players to ever play this game were two-way players. That's what makes our team so good, we have so many two-way players, guys that play on both sides of the ball. Both our starters and our bench. Why not take pride in defense? It's 50 percent of the game.

Q. Is it fair to say if you're an All-Star caliber player in the NBA that you have the tools to be a good defender?
KLAY THOMPSON: Absolutely, I think so. I'm thinking about all the All-Star ballots this year, all those guys can be great defenders.

Q. But not everybody is?
KLAY THOMPSON: Yeah, a lot of guys have a big workload though for their team, so you have to cut them some slack. But at the same time, they all have the capability to do it.

Q. Steph said yesterday that during practice or a scrimmage, whatever, Shaun is able to get quality shots. So what do you take from defending a shot?
KLAY THOMPSON: Well, I mean, he's my height and he's got to be one of the best post-up guards in the league, plays old school. He's a very tough competitor. He's very efficient in his movement. Plays with great poise and sets the tone for our bench. He just sets a great pace to the game. When he plays, he's never in a rush. He's never in a hurry, and that is the beauty about his game. He takes his time and gets to the spot, and he's efficient.

Q. The Cavs were down in terms of three-point makes as compared to the Eastern Conference Finals. Do you know the reason? What is they were cold? Was it your defense?
Q. Can you talk about your personal growth professionally from last year after going through all the big moments?
KLAY THOMPSON: I just learned. You learn how to deal with failure and success all in one. You can't get too high on the highs; can't get too low on the lows. There's always going to be another day, and you're always going to have a chance to bounce back.

So for me, I learned as a pro just to work every single day to try to get better, every single day just to be never being satisfied. I'm not satisfied just getting into The Finals.

Q. What is the difference between last year and this year, being in The Finals for the second time?
KLAY THOMPSON: I don't think our nerves got to us in the first game. I think we were poised out there and composed. Obviously we didn't shoot that well, but that's what happened in the [OKC] series.

Q. J.R.'s three shots might have been as surprising as those three points. How big a priority was it to deny him, and were you surprised he didn't have more?
KLAY THOMPSON: J.R.'s been on fire these whole Playoffs, so you have to take away his three-point shot as much as possible. He's making shots. He's a good, hot-shooting player, so he's going to make tough threes. But as long as he's not getting those step-in easy looks.

Q. He'll even take hard looks, though.
KLAY THOMPSON: He'll take hard looks, but that's the result of him getting a couple easy ones. I think if we take away those easy ones, he's the type of player who makes a couple of easy ones and [gets going].

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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