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May 31, 2017

Matt Barnes

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. Can you talk about the first time in the Finals, what that means to you and how big this really is?
MATT BARNES: It means everything to me. Growing up as a kid I watched the Finals, the Lakers, I was a Lakers fan, so Lakers/Celtics, Lakers/Bulls. So as a player I've always watched them at this time so after 15 years, I'm finally a part of it. So I couldn't be happier.

Q. Are you doing anything differently to prep for the Finals that you didn't do during the regular season or the Playoffs?
MATT BARNES: No, really, unfortunately, I got hurt going into the Playoffs, so I kind of missed out on being in the rotation, so really just staying in shape, staying ready, getting a lot of extra shots and when my number is called I'll be ready.

Q. Are you superstitious at all?
MATT BARNES: No. I know at the end of the day you go out there and play hard, good things happen.

Q. You say you were always watching the Finals, what do you remember about watching last year of these two teams?
MATT BARNES: They have been battles, they have been wars. Two years ago they got in there and won a championship. Last year unfortunately gave up a 3-1 lead and they got a championship. So this is really a grudge match. I think the world has been waiting for this time to finally get here. So I think that both teams are well prepared and ready.

Q. Is this special for you having been a part of this franchise earlier in your career?
MATT BARNES: Absolutely. My heart has always been here. Ten years ago we got the little run and me being from here and my family around here I've always been a Warriors fan even when I wasn't here. So to be here and to help these guys to go to battle is a blessing.

Q. When you signed here in March were you thinking that?
MATT BARNES: That's a chance. To start training camp in Sacramento and be in the Finals in the Bay Area, it's been a blessing, but I'm ready to get to work.

Q. What did you kind of detect both before you joined them in terms of their focus and maybe how last year affected their focus?
MATT BARNES: Just a quiet confidence. I think they know they left a ring on the table last year and I think that kind of goes without saying. It's nothing we really talk about, we just know that everyone has been waiting to get to this point this season and we know what it takes, we have been there, we have done it, they know what it takes, they have been there and done it, so now the best team is going to win.

Q. Anything you learned about this team as an insider that you didn't really appreciate?
MATT BARNES: Just how cool, calm and collected this team is. It doesn't really seem to be rattled. The core's been together for a handful of years and staying together and adding different pieces only helps. So really just being a veteran but also following their lead because they have been here and done it before.

Q. Is there an added pressure here in the Finals?
MATT BARNES: Well I just think there's pressure, I don't think it's added pressure. At the end of the day everyone dreams to win a championship. Last year they let one slip through their hands, the year before they got one. So it's not necessarily a revenge situation it's just hungry and want another one.

Q. What's in the headphones before the game?
MATT BARNES: Tupac. I do R & B, come into the game and getting dressed and to kind of relax, but once it's time to go to battle it's nothing but Tupac.

Q. When you see the atmosphere here with everybody wearing the yellow shirts, tell me how that feels to see all that yellow and all those shirts?
MATT BARNES: It's just the energy. Not only in the Arena but around the city. The second you step out of your house your neighbors are greeting you, you're driving down the freeway, people are almost crashing into you to wave and be excited at the gas station. So there's electricity that's around the city that's really special. And that I've never been a part of it at this stage of the season. So really I'm just trying to take every moment in, stay focused, and hopefully come out on the right end of this.

Q. You're part of two of the most beloved teams here in Oakland. If you were to break it down a seven-game series, who would win?
MATT BARNES: Between the We Believe team and this team?

Q. That's right.
MATT BARNES: You guys are going to get me in trouble. We were real tough. I tell people we had a team full of Draymond Greens, our mindset was that way. But this team is really talented with Steph and Klay and KD and Draymond and the bench, so it would definitely go seven games, and I would have to hit the game-winning shot for this team.

Q. What is it about this team, this team is on a historic run, but there was still something about that team has a connection with the people of Oakland?
MATT BARNES: Just I think we represented the city. We were rough and rugged and really during our time out in the streets with the city. I think that's what resonated and we just brought Playoffs back to the city. Even though we didn't make a run, it's still talked about 10 years ago. We really only made it to the second round, but that's a team that the world will always remember. For some strange reason I think it was just our chemistry and the way we handled ourselves and the way we played.

Q. The picture we always seen of you and your mom, you guys at center court you're wearing your Warriors jersey, to be in the NBA Finals with, after everything you've been through, with this particular team?
MATT BARNES: That was the last picture I took with my mom on Mother's Day against the Utah Jazz 10 years ago. So to think 10 years later, 15 years in the game, I'm back here with the team I really got my start with, and playing for in the Finals, man, I know she's looking out for me and I appreciate that.

Q. How special would it be to finish it off kind of where you started?
MATT BARNES: It would be huge, man. It would be huge. Not only playing for my family but playing for that We Believe team too. I'm the last one standing out of that group and I talk to these guys constantly and they're vicariously playing through me and living through me right now. So when we get this ring it will be for all of us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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