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May 31, 2017

Kevin Love

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. You've been playing so well lately, but the Warriors have given you some difficulty traditionally. I'm wondering what do you need to do differently to stay on the roll you're on right now?
KEVIN LOVE: Just be assertive. I think that every series, every game is different, ambiguous, whatever you want to call it, but they're a very tough team. This is well known. They have been since they have been together. And adding K.D., they have been a really, really awesome, really, really tough team on both sides of the ball.

So I think, just like I always say, picking my spots, being assertive, as I mentioned, and just filling in the gaps where we know that Bron, being our leader, and Kyrie are going to be special.

Q. Draymond's not the only guy who will be guarding you, but what problems does he present as a defender?
KEVIN LOVE: I mean, he's great player on both sides of the ball, but defensively he sets the tone for them. He's a guy that is making sure that everybody's playing, a very vocal leader for them, and a guy that brings it every single night. So we're going to have to match that.

Q. What do you think it's going to take to win Game 1?
KEVIN LOVE: Game 1, that's going to -- I mean, it sets the tone for the rest of the series. So we're going to have to come out and be ready, especially on their home floor. We have been in this position before, and they have played extremely well and they play extremely well here at home. Get their crowd into it. We know that they're going to be on top of us. And more than anything, we have a great game plan. I know from a preparation standpoint we're going to be ready, but like I said, in every series and every game it's different. Different schemes and things maybe you haven't seen before or are thrown at you, and we all know what this team does.

Q. LeBron has often talked about the Minnesota Kevin Love that he wants to see. I was wondering if you could explain who that is and do you think that you have now tapped into it permanently?
KEVIN LOVE: He was about 30 pounds heavier and has a terrible haircut.


No, I think he just means -- I mean, like I mentioned, just being assertive and just very confident on both sides of the ball in my movements. I think more than anything, that's what he means. Missed shot, made shot, different assignments, I think it's all doing it with intent. And I mentioned that word, assertiveness is big. No, just continuing to have a can-do mindset throughout and having confidence in each and everyone of us. It's not just me, it's everybody playing their best brand of basketball.

Q. I asked Draymond earlier if you are susceptible to trash talk, and he said everybody is --

Q. -- is susceptible to trash talk.
KEVIN LOVE: Yeah, I agree with him.

Q. In what ways does he try to get under your skin in games, and how successful is he?
KEVIN LOVE: He's one of the best in the game at being a trash talker. He's a guy, like I mentioned, that sets the tone for them. And this is the NBA Finals. I think that everybody expects that and hopes for that. It's two -- the best two teams in the league going at it. So it's definitely fun to be a part of, and it's just part of the game.

Q. Is it hard not to think about the big picture just a little bit, being a part of history, the trilogy, it's never been done before in the NBA Finals, and can you talk about being a part of that history?
KEVIN LOVE: It's exciting. You take the bus in here over the bridge today and you see that Finals logo, it's special. It's something that being a basketball fan and having coming from a basketball family and having it in my blood, it's -- I grew up watching The Finals, wanted to be a part of the Finals, so to come in here today, it's definitely something that's not lost on us, and it's a great opportunity for us. It's special.

Q. LeBron's obviously been a great player for years, but what do you see that's catapulted him to an even higher level? It seems like he's playing at even another level in the Playoffs and recently. What do you think has caused that?
KEVIN LOVE: I just think that a commitment to being great. But we see that every day. He's special in so many ways. But as far as his approach and his routine and just his relentlessness in chasing that greatness is special to watch. And for us, we talk about guys setting the tone, he's the best to do it. He's our leader, and we follow him at all costs.

I think that's what separates the greatest athletes in the world, but LeBron James is very special in so many ways. And but would I say that's probably number one, is his pursuit of chasing that and being great.

Q. You mentioned Durant obviously is the new piece for the Warriors. Can you extricate yourself as a player for a minute and just as a fan to see Durant and LeBron probably matched up a lot in this series, would seem like about as tantalizing a matchup as a fan could want.
KEVIN LOVE: Sure. And with them and those two MVP's, former MVP's, whatever you want to call it, there's how many All-Stars and former All-Stars in this matchup, and it's -- I feel like this is a matchup that everybody felt like would happen or wanted to see, so here we are.

MODERATOR: Thank you, Kevin.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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