home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


June 19, 2016

Kyrie Irving

Oakland, California: Postgame 7

Cavaliers 93, Warriors 89

Q. I want to know what were you thinking before you hit that clutch three in the last minute of the fourth quarter.
KYRIE IRVING: I'm just hoping it goes in. But when it does, I'm thinking about getting Klay and Steph. Those guys have been kind of leading that three-point line the whole entire series, so that's all I'm really thinking about is just getting to those guys after that shot. It was 89-89 for a good portion of the game, especially in that fourth quarter, so I was just thinking the next team that scores has a great chance at winning the championship, and I hope that we can be the team that's on that end.

Q. Kyrie, last year after Game 1 you walked out of here on crutches. What's the short version of the journey from that moment to this one?
KYRIE IRVING: I tried to downplay it the whole entire season of the emotional kind of stress that I was putting on myself from getting hurt, not being there with my teammates, watching it on TV. Then we think about a year later the journey of kind of unwinding here, back in San Francisco and Cleveland, and the amount of great players that were on the floor at one time, and the platform and magnitude of what it really meant for both teams.

I just tried to live in it and really just enjoy it as much as possible, but also have a very, very solid mindset that if we stick to our game plan and we limit our mistakes out there on the floor against a great team like this, we'll be all right. Attacking matchups. It really came down to just both teams playing extremely hard, and there was a victory at the end of the game.

And if there could ever be another Game 7 like this in the NBA Finals for all, end all, I hope that I'm either playing in it or I'm watching something historic like that.

So I'm just really thankful to be a part of history like this and it to be done with the group that I have in that locker room and us making history and etching our names forever in NBA history.

Q. Does it leave you wondering if this would be back-to-back championships?
KYRIE IRVING: Oh, let's not move too fast. Let's not move too fast. I think that -- I hugged Steph after the game and I'm like, man, I'll be seeing you a lot for the next few years to come. They're trying to build a dynasty over here in Oracle as well as in San Francisco with this Warriors team. I mean, I never, ever try to downplay about the talent that they have on that team and the resilience that they showed in the Western Conference Finals to get here, as well for us to take them to Game 7.

So I'm just really thankful we came out on the winning end.

Q. They say that understanding is two parts, mental and emotional. I'm curious about the Chicago game and what kind of lesson you took from that and how that maybe carried you or informed during the rest of the season --
KYRIE IRVING: During the regular season?

Q. The Chicago game?
KYRIE IRVING: During the regular season?

Q. Yeah, because you said that you really kind of came to an understanding from that game, and I wonder how that affected you.
KYRIE IRVING: I understood that I didn't have time to be anything less than myself. I didn't have time to worry about what was going on with what everyone was saying about what we needed to be as a team. What I needed to do, what the lineup should be, what kind of player I, myself, needed to be in order for our team to be successful. I talked to Bron, I talked to T. Lue, I looked for a lot of wisdom from our veterans, and it was just constant, constant, a feed of confidence from all those guys.

The magnitude of taking Toronto to six, of kind of sweeping the first two rounds, of being in that moment, being down, and then being in The Finals, it was game to game. It was just growth, growth, growth, and taking it one possession at a time.

So I'm really thankful to have the bonds that we have, that we created in that locker room that we started when I was still limping around in the facility and watching those guys get geared up for the beginning of the season.

So I just think back to those times and just really stayed focused on what was at hand, and that was the gold trophy.

Q. A couple days ago you talked about closing yourself off and realizing what happened in the locker room was all about you guys and you couldn't worry about the stuff outside?
KYRIE IRVING: I've always been kind of echoed around that. I was like if we take care of what's important for us internally in our locker room, then we'll be all right. Regardless of what anybody else says of what needs to happen for our team. It was just everyone had an answer for what the Cleveland Cavaliers needed to do. Now I just remember when we were down 3-1, I think it was a 92% chance for Golden State to win it and us for 8%. Then it goes 3-2, then it goes 3-3, and now the odds change completely.

I'm glad it happened this way, but I'm really thankful that we got to play against a great team like the Golden State Warriors that I can tell my daughter about or I can tell my friends about, my brothers, that we accomplished something that no other team has accomplished against a team that is star-studded that I have nothing but respect for.

Q. You talked about how you had to get back on defense after you hit that huge three. Were you able to take a mental picture of that moment I'm sure you dreamed about, or is that something that will come with time?
KYRIE IRVING: It will come with time. After the game I didn't even really know how to feel. I didn't really understand the emotions that really came with winning an NBA Championship. Now, I embraced my assistant coach, Phil Handy, after the game. We were on the floor. But I still haven't even released a lot of the emotions that I know are building up inside of me.

Right after the game I'm still in this competitive mode. Like is there another game that we have to play against this great team? Like I really just pray and hope not, then I'm hugging everybody. I'm glad it worked out the way it did, and I know that it will come to me the next day or a week or so or some time when I'm embracing my family or friends or my teammates.

Q. When you watch LeBron get so emotional, you talked about the bubble hasn't broke for you, but it did break for him. What did that do for you watching one of the greats go through that?
KYRIE IRVING: I'm glad to be a part of it. I'm glad that when I watch the amount of YouTube clips that I've watched over my -- however long the internet has been around or YouTube has been around for me, I've watched Bron in Game 7s, I've watched Kobe in Game 7s, I've watched a lot of guys before -- before Bron actually got to be my teammate. And to experience that with a great player like that, that is a future Hall of Famer, that deals with so much criticism and a lot of naysayers, and to be able to grow with him is just awesome.

I'm very thankful that I have a guy like that that's leading our team that I can continue to learn from. And when my time does come of being able to lead a franchise and see the landscape of how it's supposed to be composed, I watched Beethoven tonight right now of LeBron James compose a game. He had a freakin' triple-double in Game 7 of an NBA Finals game. There will still be naysayers, but I know it doesn't matter to him. It doesn't matter to me. All that matters is we're champions and our whole team is etched in history.

Q. You've had a number of coaches in what's still a young career. How is it that the coach you had tonight and for the last four months has been the right guy for you?
KYRIE IRVING: Well, I've always felt like our management did a great job of hiring coaches. Now, what has happened of the result of them, I have no control over. But I know that when T. Lue was hired after David Blatt getting fired in the middle of the season and us dealing with that, I voiced a lot of emotion that got back to not only our coaching staff but to our teammates, and we just grew from there. That's all that really happened.

As a maturing young professional in this league, I just had to understand that things happen like that and now you just move forward, and how to figure it out is part of the journey. Now we can tell that story that the Cleveland Cavaliers switched coaches in the middle of the season and still won an NBA Championship.

Q. Shots seemed to be falling a little short for you guys early on and the outside jumpers weren't coming. Was that a product of what it took just to get to this point?
KYRIE IRVING: I'm not even going to lie to you. I have barely slept in the last two days. I was up just really, really -- I don't think my mind has really contemplated so many scenarios ever in the last 48 hours. You know, you're thinking about, okay, win-loss, what you're going to do out there. What's the affect you're going to have on the game. What are your teammates going to do? There was so much going on in my mind that when I started out the game, I actually communicated with my teammates, all right, I've got to really just settle into this moment.

And I think it came going into almost ending the second quarter, that moment right there happened, and I was like, okay, I'm fine. All I was thinking in the back of my mind was Mamba mentality, just Mamba mentality. That's all I was thinking.

Q. Everybody was wondering about your foot going into the game. Did that affect you at all going into the game? Were you limited in any way physically?
KYRIE IRVING: No, no. I just -- my toes won't look great in my future, and I'm fine with that. Thanks.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297