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June 19, 2016

Kevin Love

Oakland, California: Game Seven

Cavaliers 93, Warriors 89

THE MODERATOR: If you could comment on your experience tonight winning the championship.

KEVIN LOVE: Unbelievable experience. Tough to put it into words. You know, NBA champion.

Q. Can you talk a little about why Tyronn Lue was the right guy for this team to take it to this point and how maybe you saw him make that job his own over the last four months?
KEVIN LOVE: He just has a quiet confidence about him. He's very self-assured, sure of himself in all the right ways. There's no negative connotation in that or any sort of saying that's the wrong thing. He just is who he is, and we followed him from the very beginning. We knew what he was capable of.

I played with many great players, had learned under some of the best coaches, and him just having that experience and us having a great coaching staff and extension of the coaching staff in LeBron as well, it just seemed to be the right fit.

Q. The ordeals and grief that you've taken either before you came to Cleveland and even after in terms of people questioning your role and wondering how you fit and all this stuff, I mean, how much is this vindication and make everything okay?
KEVIN LOVE: Well, I never got really trapped by the dogma and living with the results of other people's thinking. I just continue to fight through it, and knew that tonight I just had to have one great game. I was going to go out and be aggressive on both sides of the ball as far as rebounding the basketball. I was just told to rise above it, especially by my teammates. We knew what all of us were capable of.

So much of the time, in particular with this Golden State team, how they matched up against certain teams, matchups dictate lineups. I thought R.J. came in and played well throughout the entire series. We had a number of guys that stepped up for us when we needed it bad.

Yeah, you talk about vindication, this is the main reason that I came here and wanted to come here because I knew we'd have a great shot to win a title. Last year I felt like it was taken away from me, especially with the injury. This year got to have my first real playoff run, and it ended the way I wanted it to and we all wanted it to.

Q. Kyrie was in the locker room very emotional talking about how 92% chance that Golden State would win when they were up 3-1, 8% for Cleveland. How did this team overcome that deficit? What defines this team's championship persona?
KEVIN LOVE: I think we were a team -- I'm laughing because so much was made of this team really the last two years, and we always thrived under chaos. I mean, we had our backs up against the wall down 3-1, but we never panicked. I mentioned Ty Lue having that quiet confidence about him. We knew we had to come here for Game 5, and we thought, hey, let's win the game here and send it back to Cleveland. Anything can happen in a Game 7. So we were able to do that.

As I mentioned, we were very resilient. We played, had offensive output from different guys throughout. Game 5 LeBron and Kyrie were absolutely magnificent. Bron in Game 6 at home, we were able to get the crowd into it early. Never really looked back from there. We were able to withstand Golden State's runs and got over the hump and send it back here.

I mentioned Game 7, anything can happen. Made it a two- or three-minute game. Things that will stick out in my mind when I'm older looking back at this game are Bron's block, Kyrie hitting that three, and then Bron -- I saw it myself. I was right there when he fell on his wrist, and knocking down that second free throw and thinking, okay, one more stop, which we were able to get, and that was it.

I was right there for the embrace with our leader, 23, and everybody else was there to follow. So that was something that will always stick out in my mind.

Q. What will you take away from the emotional outpouring that he had on the court when it was all over?
KEVIN LOVE: I mean, that's always been our leader. He protects every single one of us, and we are just very, very thrilled for our team. But for him to come back here and go through what he did, it's just pretty remarkable, and we're very proud of him, and we love our leader.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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