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June 4, 2016

Stephen Curry

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. Obviously the passing of Muhammad Ali is front and center in most people's minds. And I wonder from your point of view, knowing what you may know about him, could you ever imagine having to step away from your career the way he did for two or three or maybe more years under -- obviously the circumstances might be different, but just missing three years in your prime, what would that be like?
STEPHEN CURRY: That would be a tough scenario, for sure. I can't really put myself in his shoes at the time and understand the emotions he probably had and the struggle of what to do, what not to do. But, yeah, when you love or have a passion for what you do and boxing and playing basketball, to, for whatever reason, not be able to kind of take advantage of your prime and the time and work that you put into it, that would be tough for sure. But obviously he had to do what he needed to do, and that's special.

Q. As the competitor you are, how's your mindset going into Game 2? Do you feel you have to contribute more points on the offensive end and be more close to average during the regular season?
STEPHEN CURRY: No, I just need to play better to help my team. I don't know what that all means statistically, but that's when we're at our complete best as a team, is I usually am playing a pretty good game. So I don't think I need to press the score, certain amount of points or whatnot, but being more decisive with the ball. Obviously, making open shots and running our offense at a high level, I've got to play better for sure.

Q. And after seeing some video, have you identified some adjustments that you have to make to play better against the Cavs' defense?
STEPHEN CURRY: A few things, but for the most part is when I'm in decision positions on the floor, just make the right one. There's a couple times I was just indecisive and that got me in trouble. There will be times the way that they're guarding us that if I don't have the ball, I have to make decisive cuts, I have to set good screens and continue to get movement on the floor to make them make hopefully some mistakes defensively and then go from there.

Q. We just talked to Jerry West for a little bit. What's it meant for you in your career to have him around here and what have you learned from him just spending time with him and having conversations?
STEPHEN CURRY: He has such a unique perspective on individuals when they're out there on the floor and how you get personnel to gel, build team chemistry, get the right pieces in. And just hearing him talk and the little things that he sees, especially from my game, you know, how to use leverage with your hands and use your body to create space, little things like that that he was so good at, that's invaluable advice.

But for the most part it's kind of him sensing the temperature of the team when he comes around and giving us a little something that might help us is important. It's obviously the logo, so you take his advice strongly.

Q. I'm sure you're sick of talking Xs and Os, so I'm going to ask you a few light-hearted questions. First, mostly fan based and media hype to create some sort of animosity between you and LeBron. Can you talk about maybe your relationship off the court, maybe when you met him the first time, what you knew about him growing up? And second question, take us inside the home the MVP. What kind of a husband, dad are you? Do you do chores around the house and do you have a honey-do list from Ayesha?
STEPHEN CURRY: I'll answer that question first, as a good husband would. Definitely, yeah, I've got a lot of responsibility at the house. Doesn't matter what I do on the court, you can't get by at home and obviously with two daughters, I've got to be all hands on deck when I can. My wife does a lot of the duties, but like I change a diaper or two, so I can handle that part.

I met LeBron back when I was in college at Davidson. He came to one of our games when the Cavs were playing in Charlotte, and we were playing N.C. State at the Hornets' arena, or the Bobcats back then, and he came and watched the game. Then he came out to a tournament game when we played Wisconsin and watched us play as well. So I know he's a fan of the tournament and certain personalities in the college game and whatnot. He showed crazy support for me and my team. Met him and talked to him a couple times back then.

You know, we have a solid relationship off the court. We don't talk much at all other than when we run into each other. But there is no animosity or anything. And on the court, it's all about competing and having fun.

Q. Harrison has rebounded and defended well for you guys throughout the Playoffs, but how much better are you guys when he's aggressive on the offensive end like he was in Game 1?
STEPHEN CURRY: I mean, he just gives us another threat, and he's done that all year, whether he's shot well or not. He's been aggressive when he has his opportunities, and we have a lot of weapons, so sometimes he might get a little lost in the -- you might not see a lot of field goal attempts or whatnot.

But he's always a threat, and you have to respect where he is on the floor. And when teams try to switch or get mismatches, he can exploit those situations a lot. He always finds a way to hit a timely jumper or a bucket for us, especially in the Playoffs. And he's always kind of ready for the moment.

He's such a talented guy and a smart basketball player, that when the moment's right, he usually steps up. In Game 1 he was very efficient with his game, and that's what we need from him.

Q. Again, a little bit on Ali. He was at the cross hairs of so many social issues in his time. You've had a little taste of that with the LGBT issue and North Carolina. And I'm just wondering for an athlete, how maybe scary or nerve-racking is it when people are seeking your opinion on things outside your job?
STEPHEN CURRY: I mean, it depends on how you see your platform and why I'm sitting up here and why I get blessed with the ability to impact people, whether it's how I play or what I say. I don't take that lightly. Obviously I have certain beliefs and certain things that if you ask me, I'll tell you.

But for the most part as an athlete you are somewhat of a role model whether you like it or not. And being sensitive to certain situations and to the current events that are going on, you've got to have a certain stand.

It is very tricky at times because you're either on one side or the other and you're going to offend somebody or not. But it kind of just comes with the territory. Whether you think that's important or not, that depends on the person.

So Ali was the example of how you use your platform and speak what you believe no matter what people will say, and he gives -- look at him as a sense of confidence in that regard, for sure.

Q. One other aspect of Ali's history is that he's an Olympic champion and something that people will always remember him by, although he's had a very successful professional career. Does it make it extra special to you the Rio Olympics in the next two months? What are you feeling about that?
STEPHEN CURRY: I haven't thought much about it right now because I'm obviously fighting for the Larry O'Brien Trophy. But every time I've played for Team USA in the past, starting way back when I was 19 to the last two World Championships and whatnot, it always is a huge honor to represent your country and to team up with other guys and play against some of the best competition in the world and have that sense of pride for wearing USA across your chest.

I've never played in the Olympics, and that's what it's all kind of geared up to. I think that's definitely a special accomplishment to be able to be on that team.

I've enjoyed every moment of playing for Team USA in whatever competition I've been in, and I've heard the Olympics and that sense of pride that you get when you're out there and the opening ceremonies and actually playing in the event is second to anything. So I'm looking forward to it.

Q. Was there, after that seven-game series which was such an all-out war, was there any emotional fatigue or just trouble getting back up to that level in Game 1? Did it take a few minutes to get to that level?
STEPHEN CURRY: I don't think so because it was such a quick turnaround. When I was out there, I felt pretty comfortable, had a great energy and kind of focus on what the task was. And this is our second time around. You know what to expect with the emotions of the entire day because The Finals are so different than even just in the Conference Finals. So that helped, for sure. But sensing my team, I think we bounced back pretty quick and hopefully that continues for Game 2.

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