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June 12, 2017

Kevin Durant

Oakland, California: Postgame

Warriors - 129, Cavaliers - 120

KEVIN DURANT: Can I sit this right here? Appreciate it.

Q. We have heard you talk about how much you wanted this and this was one of the driving forces that led you to come here to Golden State. Can you talk about -- can you describe a bit the emotions right now? I asked you the other day to take a step back. Can you take a step back now and sort of tell us what this means to you from your heart and your mind?
KEVIN DURANT: I remember the first day of camp and I walk into camp, and I didn't know what to expect, I didn't know what these guys were like on the court and how they came in and worked. I didn't know anything about the team. I just wanted to come in there and just be me.

And I did that from day one, and I just tried to stay with that. I had my lows in the season where I was beating myself up, where I was struggling throughout the year, but the great part about it is I'll get a tap on the head from Steph or a Draymond or -- I can remember when we were in Sacramento and we just lost to Memphis, we gave up the lead, we were up 20 -- I'm sure you guys remember -- Draymond pulled me aside, we were having dinner the next night in Sacramento, and he told me to be myself. Don't worry about anything, just be you, keep working, everything's going to come around.

And I was struggling at that point. And to have teammates that encourage you, that lift you up, that's what we all need in life. And it was amazing to just see that all year, and right now just to be here with these guys, it's amazing.

Q. What were your thoughts as the clock ran out? You knew for a while that the game was going to be in your favor. When it finally ended, tell us what was going through your mind.
KEVIN DURANT: Yeah, it was 55 seconds left, and I went other over to half court line and I bent down, and I'm like, is this really happening? And Draymond was like, Keep playing to the end. Andre is like, Keep playing. We have like 50 seconds left. And I'm like, Bro, we're about to win the title.

So I just tried to stay in the moment the whole series, and I think that worked for me. I remember plenty of times throughout my career I continued to just look in the past and look ahead and not stay in the moment. In this series I just stayed in the moment. And we did it together. Without the whole team, you got to -- what about Patrick McCaw tonight? What about Zaza Pachulia to start the game? He was amazing. What about Stephen Curry after not having a great game in Game 4, came out tonight, played like a big dog. 15 free throws, 10 assists, 34 points. Say what you want about him, but he played like a big dog all series.

And so to do that as a group, call us a super team, and I go with 20 off the bench, you a call us a super team, but it's been a lot of super teams that hasn't worked, and we came together and we continued to just believe in each other and we sacrificed, and we're champions now.

Q. You said you thanked a lot of your teammates, but what about the people behind the scenes, your mom and dad, Rich, Tom? How much did those people help you get through this season?
KEVIN DURANT: Like I said, just the encouragement every single day, just the belief that I could -- I can do whatever I want in life, not just basketball, everything. So I carried that all season, especially when I made the decision. And you hear so much chatter about what I should do. To have Rich, Tom, my brother, my mom, my dad, all my friends, just continue to just pour into me, just pour into me every single day, people that you don't even probably won't even meet in your life, pour it in me, John Gray, Carl Lentz, Adam Harrington, just to shout out a few names.

Everybody, just from -- so many people poured into me every single day, and I just tried to continue to keep grinding and let them know that it doesn't -- it doesn't go in vain, I'm just working and I believe. And just every day, man, I'm just grinding and believing in myself that I can make this happen, and to do it feels great.

Q. Everything you went through, whether it was the knee or people talking, trolling, whatever, what was the toughest challenge?
KEVIN DURANT: The toughest challenge was to come in here and see how I can help Steph get better, see how I can help Klay get better, Draymond, Shaun Livingston, Andre Iguodala, JaVale McGee, the whole team, just see how I can help them get better, that was more important to me than anything. Proving haters wrong, like that's cool, that's cool for me to talk about it on Instagram or Twitter. But like you don't concern me, I'm coming in and working every day, seeing how I can be the best teammate I can be, the best player I can be.

You can talk about whatever you want to talk about, but nobody comes in and cares about the game or loves the game as much as I do or works as hard as do I at the basketball game. You can talk about whatever happens on the outside, but inside those lines, I come to bring it every day. I work hard, I believe in myself, I believe in the game, I respect the game, I love the game, and I knew at some point in my life that it will come around for me. So I just tried to stay with those principles and keep grinding. I'm kind of lost for words right now.

Q. Going back to day one with Steph and just how he showed his support of you coming in and then even to your shooting contests that built camaraderie and fueled you guys competitively, how much did his support mean through this year?
KEVIN DURANT: It meant a lot. Steph is -- I never seen nobody like him. I told him last night. I said, When you play with force, like I never seen a player like you before. And he played with force tonight. The stuff you hear about Steph as far as sacrificing and being selfless and caring about his teammates, caring about other people is real. It's not a fake. It's not a facade. He doesn't put on this mask or this suit every single day to come in here and fake in front of you guys. He really is like that. And it's amazing to see a superstar who sacrifices, who doesn't care about nothing but the group.

He obviously wants to play well. He obviously wants to show who he is, because he's competitive, but it's all about the group. So when I asked him, like, Yo, you want to work out, some guys want to keep it to themselves. But he's like, No, let's get some work in.

We have been doing these 30-35 sessions, is what we call it. We have been doing it all season, and we have been doing it every -- probably since the second round of the Playoffs, and definitely paid off for us tonight.

Q. I know the championship is obviously the ultimate reward here, but what else do you think you found here with this team that you had been seeking?
KEVIN DURANT: I found that at the beginning of the year when we first went to Vancouver in the first pre-season game, just the camaraderie, just the togetherness of the whole organization. That's what it was about. We just kept -- I kept building on that from day one. So that's what I found when I came here, and I definitely appreciate just the type of people we have here from the top to bottom. So a championship is just a cherry on top.

Q. You and Steph had a pretty good hug there right at mid court. What was a that like? Were you telling each other anything? What was that hug like?
KEVIN DURANT: Well, we have grown closer and closer as the year's gone on and as the Playoffs have started, and he's -- we're always are encouraging each other. So it feels good to win one with him. And for him to play so well throughout the whole series, it's -- it feels great. A lot of people have been doubting him and been hoping that he fails and hoping that I fail, hoping that we fail as a group.

And the one thing that it was a constant with us was the joy that we have for the game of basketball. I learned -- I got a lot from him from that. He enjoys playing basketball. And his energy -- I told him, his energy, we feed off of him. He's our leader. He's our vocal leader. He talks up -- like I said, 15 free throws. He missed three free throws tonight I was pissed about, but 15 free throws and in a closeout game in The Finals, he's a big dog. You better start respecting him.

Q. Tim mentioned the hug with Steph. You also had a hug with LeBron right at the end. What was it like kind of slaying him, especially knowing the history you guys have with each other?
KEVIN DURANT: The man averaged a triple-double. I ain't doing no slaying.

Q. Beating his team, and the moment you had there post-game with him?
KEVIN DURANT: Feels great. It feels great to win, but to go up against somebody I view as like a rival, personally, is an amazing feeling to beat him. But one thing I know about LeBron James, though, he'll probably be back in the gym the start of July getting ready for next season.

So I probably got to beat him in the gym -- beat him to the gym. But just the mutual respect, it's -- we talk about guys being too friendly, but like it's a game and we compete on the court hard as we can, both of us, and after the game it's respect. And I did that, I respected him, and he won his first one in 2012, and he reciprocated that. So I got nothing but love and respect for him, and I can't wait to compete against him again next season.

Q. You said that one of the things you wanted to do from the moment you got to this team was try to make your teammates better. How important was it to you that you weren't just joining on with a team but actually able to make an impact with a team?
KEVIN DURANT: Yeah, I hear all the narratives throughout the season that I was joining, I was hopping on bandwagons, I was letting everybody else do the work. But then that was far from the truth. I came in and tried to help my team. Like I said, tried to be myself, be aggressive and sacrifice as well.

There's some games I might not get shots, as many shots as I'm used to getting. Some games where Steph is going to go off and hit 13 threes or Klay might hit 60 or Draymond might get a triple-double with no points. But nobody cared, as long as we won.

Andre Iguodala, who is right there, he continued to preach that every single day. It's all about the group. If your intentions are good, then that means as a team that we're moving in the right direction.

So I just tried to think about that, but also add my flair to the game. And it feels amazing to win a championship with these guys. I can't wait to celebrate for the rest of the night -- well, maybe the rest of the summer.

Q. To know that you were able to do that, how much does it make all that hardware sitting up with you a little bit richer to know that you were able to do that, everything you just described? How much does that make all that hardware you've got a little bit richer?
KEVIN DURANT: It feels so great because, like I said, it's a team sport. Man, you got to want to sacrifice. You got to want to put your teammates in front of yourself sometimes. And I just tried to do that but also be aggressive. Andre told me all the time, it is your time, go take it, it's about you. But I'm like, no, it's about us. It's about us. But I'm still going to be me.

I'm talking too much at this point. I had a couple too many beers. I haven't had a beer since February. So to have a beer right now and come talk to you guys, it feels great.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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