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June 18, 2016

Stephen Curry

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. Steph, have you had a chance over the last 36 hours to reflect on Game 7's impact on this team's legacy, win or lose?
STEPHEN CURRY: No, it's all about winning the game. I mean, we'll worry about what either result means afterwards.

Q. Maybe then you could give us your state of mind going into this in terms of magnitude and how you're preparing yourself for such a big game?
STEPHEN CURRY: Same kind of preparation. Understanding that we need our best basketball for 48 minutes to end this season, and hopefully with a W. I don't feel any extra pressure, which is good. I just want to understand and enjoy the moment because growing up, as a basketball fan, you kind of put yourself in so many Game 7s to win The Finals kind of situations playing with your friends and stuff, and this is my first crack at it.

So excited about it. I understand we've had two sub-par games and we need to make a couple adjustments. But we are capable of doing that and a resilient basketball team that is ready for this opportunity. That's what I'm confident in.

Q. It has been a pretty tough series in terms of pressure, criticism, and all the things that you have to handle on and off the court. With Father's Day being Sunday and the same day as Game 7, I just want to know how big has been the figure of your father, Dell, in terms of helping you manage all this stuff?
STEPHEN CURRY: He's been huge. Just knowing -- he never went through The Finals experience before, so he doesn't understand -- didn't experience the (laughing) -- yeah, I had to stop myself. Didn't experience kind of the emotions or the spotlight and whatnot. But having played six years in the league and having teammates that have done it before and just knowing the ins and outs of the game, that kind of wisdom is invaluable, for sure.

But I want to make him proud. I want to go out and know that when he's watching, he's kind of rooting me on and proud of what I'm doing. So that is a huge driving force for me. And obviously, if I need to bounce stuff off of him about things on or off the court, I can.

Q. Is there any specific advice that he has given to you to try to control yourself and your focus in this kind of showcase that's going to be Game 7?
STEPHEN CURRY: No, just what he has said and what he would say is just be yourself and you can be fine with that. There's a reason that we're here. There's a reason you're in this situation. Don't need to change. Don't need to do anything special. Just be yourself, but play hard. Just have the right intentions about what you're doing on the floor and usually things work out.

Q. With the way you guys run your defensive switches, it seems like in the last couple games, anyway, you're getting put in some rather awkward situations where you're having to guard LeBron or Tristan Thompson. I mean, actually it looks like they're doing the same thing with Kyrie. Are you having to work extra hard on defense because of the switching, and how do you compensate in this final game?
STEPHEN CURRY: All I can do is just stay out of foul trouble. That's the only thing I need to worry about. The kind of schemes they're doing to put me in screen and rolls or trying to isolate me against bigger guys hasn't really hurt us that bad except if I get into foul trouble.

I mean, we looked at the numbers and stuff, and my one-on-one defense, I think I can hold my own in those situations especially if it's iso situations and clock's running down and whatnot. I'm comfortable in that position. As long as I'm on the floor, I think we'll be all right.

Q. So I would assume that, with that being said, you probably will maintain your same style of defense or maybe not like stay at home on one guy?
STEPHEN CURRY: No, I have to lend support if I'm guarding the guy setting the screen. We have certain principles of how I'm supposed to guard that. If it requires a switch, then we do it. That's kind of my game plan, and just not foul.

Q. Steph, after Game 6 Klay said if you don't win the championship, the season will be a failure. Do you agree with that sentiment?
STEPHEN CURRY: Yeah, pretty much because that was our goal from the beginning. We're here on Game 7 with a chance to do it. We've had two chances already and haven't gotten it done. 48 minutes to do it. So if we come up short, we'll all be very, very disappointed. No two ways around that.

Q. First chance to hear from you since Game 6 and a lot of the kind of drama that swirled around with Ayesha's tweets, et cetera. How have you managed that last 36 hours and focused on the job at hand? And for those of us not in that kind of spotlight, what do you do?
STEPHEN CURRY: There is nothing really that's going to distract me from what's happening on the court. Yeah, I get asked about it, and what's between me and Ayesha is -- the conversations about what happened, that's gonna be handled. But other than that, that doesn't take any spotlight off of what my job is on the floor and what these next 48 minutes are going to be like in Game 7. So that's kind of all I'm worried about. I might have to cut the Wi-Fi off at my house, though.

Q. Has it been -- I mean, we talked earlier in the series about spotlight and the scrutiny and all that. Do you kind of just shake your head at the levels it gets to sometimes?
STEPHEN CURRY: Yes, I guess, because the stuff that I hear is probably ten times worse than the stuff that I don't hear. You've got to love that scrutiny and the praise, positive or negative, because of the stage that we're on. If we're in The Finals every year and playing for a championship and that's what you have to deal with, I'm cool with it.

Q. I guess related to the last question, perhaps one of the lasting images of this Finals may be the way you exited Game 6. How do you drop that and concentrate, remain composed for Game 7?
STEPHEN CURRY: I was going to the bench either way, so I might as well have kept walking to the locker room. That's kind of how I view it in a funny way. But the way that we move on is win Game 7 and have a lot more fun postgame. That's really the best way to bounce back from an emotional loss.

Q. You've always resisted the idea that you just have to take over, you have to win a game by yourself. In a Game 7, obviously all of the spotlight on this team, on you, do you have to be great in this game? Do you personally have to be great?
STEPHEN CURRY: Yeah. I need to play my best game of the year if not my career because of what the stakes are. So that doesn't mean scoring 50 points, though. That means controlling the tempo of the game. When I need to be aggressive -- well, I need to be aggressive, but when I need to push the envelope, do it, but do it under control. Do it within the schemes that we're used to as a team. Focus on details on both ends of the floor. All those things go into having a great game, and I need to do that.

Q. What are your teammates telling you? Anything specific about the way they want you to approach this game?
STEPHEN CURRY: Basically a hundred different ways of saying what I just said. Everybody is kind of encouraging each other, understanding the opportunity that we have in front of us.

The plane ride back yesterday was fun because we were very, very kind of light. The attitude was really positive. So I like where we're at mentally and needs to kind of transition over to the game tomorrow.

Q. You guys have been in this spot before where you're coming off bad showings and it looks really bad. How do you guys get back to playing to that standard that you guys have used all season? What do you guys do to, I guess, bring out the best of the Warriors when it doesn't look like you're going to get there?
STEPHEN CURRY: The film that we watched and the way that Coach kind of broke it down was in a way that was very positive because you could kind of just see us on the offensive end, especially the mistakes that we made and the things that we just didn't do when it comes to creating rhythm. It wasn't anything -- it wasn't a lot that Cleveland did defensively that took us out of who we are as a basketball team and how we play. So you just have to find that.

There's nothing really you can do except go out on the floor and execute and stay focused on the ways that we're going to be successful. And that's by everybody touching the ball, the ball whipping from side to side, setting great screens, making hard cuts and just resisting the urge to be stagnant and to be passive.

Then on the other end, you can't give them easy buckets off of turnovers and you can't give them easy or open shots off of breakdowns because they have talented guys that are going to make plays anyway. So you can't just gift them stuff on that end of the floor.

So that's basically it. We understand what we have to do, and there is nothing you can do between now and then except wrap your mind around that focus and go out and do it.

Q. Do you feel like if you guys play your best and LeBron played the way he's been playing, are you guys good enough to win this Game 7?
STEPHEN CURRY: For sure. I mean, there's no moral victories in this game at all. But if you think about the thing we hold on to is knowing we were down 20 in the first quarter of Game 6 on the road, clawed our way back to within 8 and within 7 two different occasions in the fourth quarter, and LeBron had an amazing game.

So the margin of error is very, very slim for us because of what we can do over the course of 48 minutes. We just can't beat ourselves. And just play better.

Q. There's been a kind of theme today from both you and Klay and Draymond about maybe not being ourselves. All of you have said that in one form or another. Why do you think you haven't been yourselves or you personally haven't been yourself for part or all of this series? And what can you do to really be yourself when it matters most?
STEPHEN CURRY: It's kind of the thing when you look at us on film or we look at ourselves on film, the kind of spark, you just don't see kind of that rhythm and that flow and just the energy that we play with the offensive end. Obviously we lost Game 5 and 6, not so much because we missed open shots, but also because of our defensive breakdowns. So it's kind of you can look at and nitpick both sides.

But at the end of the day, I don't know why we haven't been ourselves. You can look at what we haven't done, but I couldn't tell you the reason that we've been lacking in those areas besides it's just a long, hard grind and journey to win a championship, and anything's liable to happen.

The only thing that matters is we have one game left to figure it out. At the end of the day, if we're standing on a podium tomorrow, who cares how we got there. We got there. So that's kind of the thing that we have to play for tomorrow.

Q. What is it that makes you confident that you can be yourself when it matters most?
STEPHEN CURRY: I know I'm prepared. I'll be prepared mentally and physically for the game. Just what I do normally to get ready to play. Yeah, that's it.

Q. You touched on this a little bit, but how would you characterize the looks that you've gotten against Cleveland in this series? And when you miss an open look or it doesn't fall, does the inner monologue in your head change now in The Finals compared to in November when you get an open look and it doesn't fall?
STEPHEN CURRY: I'm a low-key perfectionist when it comes to shooting and whatnot. So it doesn't matter if it's training camp in September or in The Finals, I'm mad when I miss an open shot. And my approach to the next play is the exact same. I have the same amount of confidence.

I've gotten really, really good looks this series. Four out of the six games I've played pretty well to my expectations, my standards. So I need to take it up another notch for Game 7 and that's what the greats do.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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