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June 12, 2017

Draymond Green

Klay Thompson

Oakland, California: Postgame

Warriors - 129, Cavaliers - 120

Q. Draymond, a couple of days ago you said if you guys win The Finals, that conversation that you had with K.D. in the car would make you a genius. So are you indeed a genius? And tell us why.
DRAYMOND GREEN: Genius. Yeah, because I felt like the team that we had, we were great. Won a championship, lost in Game 7, 3-1 lead, right where you want to be. We were great. But we were able to keep our eyes open to know that there was someone and something that can make this whole thing complete. And I said I was a genius, I was lying. Like we all wanted to do that. But we felt like Kevin could come in and help us and, like I said, make it all complete. And he showed that. Finals MVP, 4-1, world champions, doesn't get much better than that.

Q. Klay, 31-2 since you signed the toaster. So will the team will be getting toasters, and will you invite that fan personally to the parade?
KLAY THOMPSON: I'll invite the fan, but we were supposed to go 16-0 for everyone to get toasters.

DRAYMOND GREEN: I got a toaster at home. I don't want one. I'm good.

KLAY THOMPSON: Yeah, come on.


Q. For both you guys, you guys have been through this before, having won it a couple years ago, but this year you had some veterans come along that hadn't won, guys like David and JaVale. What was it like seeing them in this moment when you guys pulled this off the first 15, 20 minutes after the clock hit zeros?
DRAYMOND GREEN: It was amazing. Like you said, those guys have been in the league, most of them, really, 10-plus years. JaVale right there at 10 I think. Or nine. And hadn't experienced that feeling. I was blessed to experience it in year three. He was blessed to experience it in year four. They have went -- Matt Barnes, 15 years, an entire career, for most, you're lucky to make it to year 15. Here is he winning a championship at year 15. That's an amazing thing.

So to see them celebrate, that was an even better feeling than just celebrating it yourself. That's -- but that's why we are here, to make each other better and to try to win championships. So it was a great thing to see those guys experiencing this for the first time.

Q. Both saw what Andre Iguodala did two years ago. Tonight, you're closeout game, he plays 38 minutes, scores 20 points, and he had that dunk that just seemed to change the game. He looked like he was 23 in that -- on that play. Could you talk about that play, how it might have changed kind of the mindset of everybody and just his performance in general.
DRAYMOND GREEN: Andre lives for the big moment. Oh you want to go ahead. Go ahead.

KLAY THOMPSON: No. All right. All right. Well, that's what Andre's been doing all year. You've seen his bounce. It's unbelievable. I tried to replicate what he does off the court because to be 33 and jumping like that is unbelievable. And he's one of the best professionals I've ever been around. And two years ago he went to the bench, and it rewarded him, he was Finals MVP. Same thing this year, the guy's an Olympian, a champion, an All-Star, and one of the most complete players I ever played with. He just makes everyone around him better. And he does such a good job of taking care of the young guys. He's one of the best I've ever seen at doing that.

Q. Draymond, after that first one in the second half, you found him on a couple lobs for dunks. It was just like he turned back the clock.
DRAYMOND GREEN: That's kind of what I'm always looking for, a guy getting that dunk where he helps up and throw the lob. I never have a doubt in my mind in putting it up there to Andre, that he's going to go get it. And he was right there, gave me an outlet, and finished the plays. And both of them were at key times. They were making a little run -- or we were making a run when I threw the one in the first half, and in the second half, kind of going back and forth and we were able to get that play. So those are great for us.

Q. For both you guys, I think it's fair to say many people expected you to win this championship. But on every journey there are unexpected things that happen. I think that obviously the most unexpected was your head coach had to step away for a while, but were there other unexpected things along the way for you in the journey that maybe now you can talk about now that it's all over?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Obviously Steve leaving out was definitely unexpected. We thought we had went through that before and were never going through it again, and yet he needed to step down. But the great thing that Steve does is he empowers everyone. And Mike Brown was able to step in, carry the torch. We were able to support him and try to play great for him as the head coach, and he was amazing.

You don't expect Kevin to go down for, what, 20 games, in the middle of the season, but we figured it out. So, that was great. You don't expect Coach Kerr to change the complete rotation in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, but guys were ready, you have to adjust to that.

And so there's a lot of things that go on throughout the course of a season that you just have to make adjustment to, and I think that we have done a great job of doing that.

Q. Klay, anything?
KLAY THOMPSON: Oh, well, Draymond covered it all pretty much. But although people did expect us to win, people don't realize how hard it is to go out there and do it. You look at our record, and they say 16-1, it was easy, but it wasn't. This series could have really changed in Game 3, especially. But we had big-time players make big-time plays, like Kevin. And then the Cavs blitzed us obviously in Game 4, I think it was. And we didn't want to have to go back to Cleveland, and we responded really well tonight.

It was a beautiful year. We're going to enjoy it. We worked so hard for this. Like I said, although people expected it, it's a lot harder than you think.

Q. Draymond, second quarter you guys were down five or six, and Cleveland had led most of the game, and you went on this 22-2 run over four and a half minutes. What happened?
DRAYMOND GREEN: We started getting stops. They had 37 points there in the first quarter. It was kind of a replay of Game 1. I think they had 49 or something that first quarter. I mean, Game 1, Game 4. And we knew if we're going to win this game, we have to come out and get stops. We did that and that defense turns into offense. So once we locked in on the defensive end, we preached about it, talked about it last couple days, if we just come out and play defense, we're going to win. And yet it's not that easy.

They have great players and guys stepping up in the moment. You look at JR Smith was 7-8 from three. They had different guys stepping up. That's what made it a little tougher. But we finally got to that point where we got stops, we pushed the tempo, and we scored.

Q. Both of those runs, K.D. had 11 points, and he had 39 for the game. You knew what you were getting when he signed, but were you in something of an awe over what he produced the entire season right down to the end?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Absolutely. He's incredible. Some of the things that he does at seven feet is just unbelievable. He continued to do that from the beginning to the end.

There he is, Finals MVP. We're world champs. It's an amazing thing.

Q. Along those lines, how did you see Steph and Kevin sort of evolve together from the beginning when Steph maybe took a little bit of a back seat and let him -- let K.D. get comfortable, and then to them having these fierce three-point shooting contests down the stretch that were pretty intense?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Steph definitely took a back seat to the start the season until he realized we didn't need him to take a back seat. We need you to be aggressive as you're going to be. And when Steph turned that corner, I think it was after Christmas Day, when he turned that corner, we became almost unbeatable.

That's what we needed. So that was this whole thing, who is going to take less shots? Is it going to be Steph, K.D., Klay? None of them. The ball's going to find who it needs to find at the end of the day, and that's those three guys. And we need them guys to shoot the ball and score for us. And they did that.

So once they got to that point to where Steph's like I don't need to just try to come up and try to find K.D. or Klay, the ball's going to find them and they're going to get their shots, I need to do what I do, and that's be aggressive. I think everything changed for this team.

Q. Draymond, with all the dubious calls, for lack of a better word, that went against you guys, especially in these last two games, how much sweeter does it now feel to win this one as opposed to the first one?
DRAYMOND GREEN: No, it don't get old. I tell you what, though, I told myself I did like this State of the Union address, I wrote down this stuff like, man, I'm going to say this, I'm going to say that. I was going to bash everybody who talked junk. I feel like R.J. was talking junk the whole series, then the media, JR said some things. I'm like, I'm going to bash everybody.

And then like, no, that's a championship team. And they're -- they stepped up the entire season, they were great. You got to give those guys a lot of credit.

So right along with that, with the calls, like that's basketball. That's -- sometimes the calls just don't go your way. Usually when a team is an aggressor, like Game 4, everybody said, oh, man, that was the worst officiating I ever seen. But they were the one of the most aggressive teams I had ever played against. And so usually when you're aggressive, the calls go your way. Tonight we were more aggressive, we got more calls. And I think that's just how the game goes. The referees are going to always get a benefit of the doubt to the more aggressive team. Because they're earning it. They're more deserving.

So, you look at officiating, it's one of the most like an exact science as you can come up with. Stuff just happens on the fly, you're talking, no disrespect to those guys, but you're talking about mostly 40- and 50-year-old guys trying to keep up with 18- to 30-year-olds. Like that's tough to do.

So I think they were great. They did the best they could. I don't really look at it and say, oh, man, they were out to get us or they were cheating us, like the most aggressive teams get calls, and that's just the way the game has always gone.

Q. Draymond, saw you actually helping up a few Cavaliers today off the floor. Not really any sort of arguing with the referees. Was there kind of a different mentality that you came into tonight's game? And also --

Q. Do you owe Klay one for saving his life on that one play?
DRAYMOND GREEN: He owes me one.

KLAY THOMPSON: He's been in the weight room.

DRAYMOND GREEN: I caught him. No, he definitely owed me something. I'll take a watch like Steph got.


DRAYMOND GREEN: No, but I talked to my dad, my grandmother, every person I saw walking down the street, my mom, everybody's like keep your cool, keep your cool. Don't argue with the refs. I had to ask myself, is it that bad? Like does it look that bad that everyone I see -- I'm in a grocery store, guy's like, keep your cool. I'm like, Jesus Christ, this must be bad.

And so I had to have a real seminar with myself, like I must be out there looking bad. So, I just told myself, like I'm not going to worry about the officials. I'm just going to play the game. Obviously as far as helping those guys up, like I respect them. There's a mutual respect. They're champions, we're champions. Like I said, that goes along the same lines of me saying like -- I'm telling you, I had this whole document ready. I was ready to bash everybody. But I just -- I have too much respect for them. The things that they bring to the floor, a great leader in LeBron and Kyrie, that's where the help comes. Because at the end of the day, it's basketball. I think that so many times we let outside things make it more than that. It's basketball. I think that like why wouldn't I help a guy up off the floor? Like owners have drinks together at halftime. Like while we're battling, they're having drinks together at halftime, and yet I'm supposed to see a guy fall and look at him like, no, I'm not helping you up. No, I'm just going to try to punish you on the floor. And at the end of the day, that's what it's all about.

So I think that you feel that at times during the game where you're like, all right, I can't help him up, it's too heated, no, but for the most part, like everyone wants us to hate each other. Hate this, but it shouldn't be that. Are we going to compete, absolutely we're going to compete to the highest level, but to like, oh, man, I hate this guy and I'm supposed to hate that guy. Like everyone else doesn't do it so why should we? That's the way I look at it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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