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June 18, 2016

Steve Kerr

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. Steve, after Game 6, Klay Thompson said if you guys don't win this championship, the season would be a failure, and the failure is his word. Do you feel that way?
COACH KERR: Yeah, but you guys suckered him into that question.

Q. I didn't.
COACH KERR: Somebody did. Somebody did.

Q. Okay, I'll get them.
COACH KERR: I don't look at -- first of all, I think it's -- I don't want to insult anybody. I think it's an unfair question, and I never look at sports that way, and I think it's insane -- with all due respect to Klay, of course, it's insane to actually say that. Like, really? Come on.

Q. A follow-up would be, do you feel, and, again, I don't mean to be negative, but there is a lot at stake in this game if you take these things seriously. Do you think any reputations are at stake, yours, No. 30, the franchise, things like that?
COACH KERR: Sure. Reputations from the critics, and that's all part of this machine that the NBA is, and that's why we all make a lot of money. That's why it doesn't bother me. So everybody's reputation is at stake in terms of legacy or whatever and what people write, but in terms of the people that matter -- your family members, your friends, your teammates, the people in the organization -- nobody's reputation is at stake.

We're trying to win a game, and it doesn't change anything about anybody on either team, win or lose. It changes the narrative from the media, and that's the deal. That's the deal that we accept when we sign up for this stuff.

Q. Can you give us an idea what the agenda was for Andre today and his status for tomorrow's game?
COACH KERR: Yeah, we had a film session and a walkthrough. And once we were finished with our walkthrough, he went and got treatment. And we had a light practice that he did not take part in. He got treatment instead. And he should be good to go tomorrow. He's feeling pretty well. Hopefully another 24 hours and he'll be even better.

RAYMOND RIDDER: Progressing well is the official terminology.

Q. I was going to ask about Iguodala too. Any kind of minutes limits or anything on him for tomorrow's game?
COACH KERR: Not as of now, but we'll see how he's feeling tomorrow. But it's Game 7 and he's Andre Iguodala, so we know he'll be out there.

Q. You guys have been in control literally since day one of the regular season. You've had a great hand on your own destiny. I'm curious if you've noticed any difference in the mood of your team at all in the last couple days, since the end of Game 6, on the ride home, when you've been gathered today. Do you notice any change in their approach and their attitude?
COACH KERR: Well, we're human, so when you go from up 3-1 to 3-3, it's disappointing. But you get a couple of days, you kind of take stock. You think about where we are. We like our positioning. We like our chances. And we're at home with a chance to win the championship. You can't ask for much more than that.

And our guys are recharged already today and probably even more so tomorrow and will be ready to roll.

Q. Any signs of feeling the pressure at all of a Game 7?
COACH KERR: If you don't feel pressure in a Game 7, you're probably not human. I told our guys that. Of course they're going to feel pressure. Of course there's going to be some anxiety. But how lucky are we to feel that pressure? You could play on a lottery team your whole career and just make a bunch of money and go watch Playoffs every year. That sounds great.

Q. You said for the last game you told the players no heroics necessary, yet you've also pointed out that Steph Curry was unanimous MVP, this is the life he leads. How much of a hero is it semantics to say, Steph Curry, this is on you?
COACH KERR: Oh, no, no, no. Yeah, he's a great player and we need him to play well, but you can't say it's on you to anybody. It's a team game. We rely on a lot of people. It would be nice if everybody played well, but we've won games so many different ways this year, just as Cleveland has, lots of different people stepping up and making shots and making plays.

If you look at the history of this league, it's littered with Game 7s that were won with unlikely shots by unlikely heroes, that kind of thing.

The main thing is take care of the details. Play hard, enjoy it, but let's not give up the easy stuff. Let's not get beat back door. Let's box out, let's get our transition defense in order. You take care of all that stuff, and then it's a roll of the dice, shots go in, shots don't.

Q. Do you tell the story about the time Michael Jordan told another player that he better be open, make the shot if he gets double teamed?
COACH KERR: That would sound incredibly conceited, and I will not tell that story. But thanks. Thanks for trying.

Q. How would you characterize Steph Curry's overall play in this series? Secondly, are you satisfied with the looks that he's getting? He seems to be missing a lot of open threes and missing lay-ups more than usual. Do you have to calm him down about that and not overthink things?
COACH KERR: Yeah. I think my playing experience, the best thing about my playing experience that I can relate to our team is this is the Playoffs and this is The Finals, in particular. This is how it works. So you are going to be under the microscope, especially if you're the MVP.

So every move you make is going to be assessed. And I am going to be asked to assess your every move. It's fair. This is, again, what we all signed up for. This is why we all make a lot of money. This is where we earn our money.

So we could break down every game, we could break down every play, but we're not going to do that. You guys can do that. That's your jobs. But we're going to focus on what we can focus on, and I'm confident we're going to play well. And I know Steph's ability and character, and I know everything about who he is. He just has to be himself.

Q. It seems like Cleveland is trying to take advantage of your defensive switching to create mismatches. You had a lot of situations where LeBron has actually been matched against Steph. Do you have to alter or adjust and maybe stay at home more defensively the way they have been exploiting you with your switching?
COACH KERR: It's a good question. It's a difficult one to answer because there are so many different circumstances on the floor. It kind of depends on who else is on the floor in terms of their lineup.

So we have certain schemes where we will switch, others where we'll go under, others where we'll stay at home. So there's a lot of different scenarios. But this is something that both teams are doing constantly, trying to find matchups that make sense and trying to create advantages. It's all part of the game.

Q. Do you think they're trying to make Steph work extra hard on the defensive end?
COACH KERR: Oh, sure, sure. That's something that most teams try to do. It makes perfect sense. The guy's that good of a shooter and that good of a player. Yeah, you make him work hard at the defensive end to try to wear him down.

Q. In regard to the earlier questions about reputations and what this means if you win or lose, what shaped your philosophy to get to that point where it's not the end of the world?
COACH KERR: I think just my playing career started in '88, and I've been part of the league ever since. So I've really seen kind of the machine grow in terms of the daily scrutiny. It used to be early in my career it was like, yeah, just don't pick up the morning paper and you can avoid all that stuff.

Now it's pretty hard to avoid the scrutiny and the criticism. Don't have a cell phone? Like who -- I don't think that works anymore.

I just think that over the course of my time in the NBA I've seen it, I've seen the critiquing, I've seen as a Laker fan, I remember when Magic Johnson was referred to as Tragic Johnson because he had a bad Playoff run. Really? I mean, it's Magic Johnson, for God's sake.

The point is everybody's going to have some great games, some great series, some bad ones. People are going to judge it and critique it, and it's all fair, again, because this is why we're making a lot of money. This is the trade off.

But for the people who matter -- family members, teammates, coaches -- you think I'm going to think anything less of Steph Curry tomorrow if he doesn't play a great game or if we lose? Of course not.

But all the other stuff we have to embrace. Maybe not embrace, but accept because it's part of the deal, and it's a hell of a deal. We have good lives.

Q. Just a little bit on that theme. You look at what's occurred in the last 36 hours since -- I've lost track of time, frankly.

Q. Since Game 6. A lot of scrutiny for Steph, even Ayesha kind of gets pulled into it. So it looks kind of chaotic from a step removed or two, whatever we are. What's it like inside that? Are you even conscious or aware of what's swirling around, or do you have to work hard to not be aware of it?
COACH KERR: Yeah, especially -- now I'm going to sound like the old guy -- especially the generation coming up. They're used to looking at their phones all the time and Twitter and everything else. It's really hard to avoid all that stuff.

So it's more about managing it and how you manage it and how you go through your day. It helps when you've got guys who are grounded and who understand that there's a lot more to life than what somebody writes about your reputation and your legacy and all that stuff.

If you just kind of remind yourself we get to play basketball for a living, we get paid a lot, we have fun, there is some heartbreak, there is some joy, and everything in between, again, pretty good deal. We're among the luckiest people on Earth, win or lose Game 7.

Nothing changes there other than what some people write. A big part of being a prominent athlete these days is being able to shrug your shoulders and say: Oh, well. Somebody I don't know wrote something bad about me. It's not the end of the world.

Q. Do you check in with Steph between, again, in the last 36 hours or whatever, just as things do kind of rev up?
COACH KERR: We just tweet back and forth to each other (laughing).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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