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May 30, 2018

Draymond Green

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. People, including Steve Kerr, speak very articulately about your basketball intellect. It's kind of a part of the game that maybe some fans don't really know what that means. What does it mean, and how have you developed your basketball intellect and how does it help on a game-to-game basis when your team needs you?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I think it's definitely a gift, but also since I started playing basketball when my uncle was coaching me in elementary school, he taught me the game of basketball. You see sometimes people just kind of throw out the basketball and let them play. He didn't do that with us. He really taught me the game. I've been fortunate to have great coaches throughout the course of my life, dating back to my AAU coach, coach Speedy (phonetic), and Coach (Lou) Dawkins in high school, Coach Bruce (Simmons), Coach (Tom) Izzo in college, the things that Mark Jackson taught me coming into the league and obviously getting to Coach Kerr and him teaching me more, ball movement and different things, ways to look at things from a different perspective. I've just been blessed to have great coaches in my life and be blessed with a gift from God.

Q. There is a guy on the other team, LeBron, who is known for basketball IQ himself. Playing and competing against him on this stage for three, now four years, what have you seen specifically about his basketball IQ that even blows you away?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Oh, I mean, he's a super intelligent player. You know, I think that's what makes him special. Obviously, then you combine that with the physical stature and the work ethic that he has, and that's what has kind of put him over the top. But one of the smartest players in the NBA for sure, probably in the history. Really understands the game. You can see it in a way that not many people can, and that's -- like I said, that's one of the reasons he's had as much success as he's had.

Q. Steph after Game 7 said there was a moment in the second quarter when he felt like things could have splintered; that you guys could have all pointed fingers and it could have just come busted. And yet you got through it. I'm just wondering if you felt that and how did you guys get through that moment?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I think there was definitely a moment there. You know, I think different guys just stepped up and were talking, telling everyone to stay together and just stay the course. We know what we're capable of when we stick together, and we did that and were able to, obviously, survive and get through it.

But I think there's moments like that all the time in different parts of the season, games, playoff series. You know, you kind of go through those moments, and that's what it takes in order to win a championship, and that's why we've been able to have that success, and that moment there in that second quarter was kind of another telling sign of that.

Q. Was there anything particular that you said or any one person said?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I think it was just everyone. From Steph getting up in the huddle saying, Stick together, to Klay talking, Andre got in the huddle and was talking. Kevin started yelling. Like you had everybody in there. And everybody was pretty much yelling the same thing.

Once everyone calmed down, everyone realized that we were all yelling the same thing and we were kind of able to rally it together and go out there, that's when we started cutting the lead there in the second quarter.

Q. What role will familiarity play in these Finals? And over four years the rosters have changed. Maybe the core is the same. So what's the familiarity, the chess match of outthinking and outplaying your opponent?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Oh, I think our coaching staff does a great job of preparing us and making sure we know everything that they're going to run. It all boils down to going out there and executing it. But also, more importantly than that, going out there and fighting. It's going to come down to who wants it more. Who is going to make those extra plays, get those 50-50 balls.

If I remember back to 2015, they were getting all the 50-50 balls, and we were struggling. We turn -- Kyrie went out, Kevin Love was out, I think, and they were beating us on 50-50 balls. When we started dedicating ourselves to doing that, the whole entire series changed.

That's what it's going to be about in this series, coming up with rebounds and 50-50 balls, trying to get out and run and different I things of that nature. But we know that. And we can do as many Xs and Os as we want. The team who wants it more will be the team who wins.

Q. How about you, a guy who studies tendencies, knowing this opponent so well, namely, LeBron?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Yeah, that's important, especially with the little time that we have to prepare. In recent years we've been kind of having a week off, at most, to prepare for The Finals. It's almost a day to prepare this time.

So it definitely helps knowing the opponent, knowing, obviously, everything stops and starts with LeBron, and trying to do what we can to make things tough on him, but also take other guys out of the game.

I think this team they have now looks completely different from the team that we faced three, four months ago. Saying that when it was money time, they went right back to those guys who they knew and has proven that they can win for them and get them to this point and even win the championship. So those guys we do know well, and we'll be prepared for that.

Q. Can you kind of characterize a little bit kind of your relationship with LeBron? You guys are both competitors. You've played at the highest level. We've seen you guys do some Uninterrupted stuff, but we've also seen you guys nose to nose. How well do you know him? Just the competitive nature, can you be friends off the court with a guy like that?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I mean, we are partners in Uninterrupted and do some things off the floor. But none of that matters right now. He's trying to win a championship, I'm trying to win a championship, and if that means nose to nose or whatever else it means, then that's what it means.

But it's not about being friends on the floor when you're trying to win an NBA Championship. There is enough time for that. Obviously, I know that there is mutual respect there and you respect your opponent. But friendships, businesses, none of that stuff matters when you're trying to win the championship.

Q. Do you sense that there's -- you guys have many of the same qualities, not necessarily style of play, but guys out there were saying that you've got this great memory of stuff and a sense of history and stuff like that. There is also some characteristics of LeBron?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Oh, yeah, I think we are two of the few who really thinks the game in today's day and age in this league, there's not a ton of guys who think that way. I think we do, but don't really matter either.

Q. There's been an interesting conversation out of Philly in the last three or four hours, and I was wondering if you had any thoughts or advice on social media?
DRAYMOND GREEN: No, I've had my social media mishaps before too. I'm trying to win a championship. Social media really don't matter. Philly don't matter. Fake news don't matter, the news don't matter, trying to lock in on the Cavaliers, that's all that really matters to me right now.

Q. When turnovers come in bunches, sometimes the defenders do a good play, tip your cap. Sometimes they come out with an excess of ambition, aggression, sometimes it's just carelessness. A coach can only tell you to be careful so many times. How do you get out of the turnover blues? What is the process like to get out of that mode into being a careful group with the ball?
DRAYMOND GREEN: We're a team that plays loose. We like to get up-and-down the floor, and the style of play we're going to have some turnovers. I think it's cutting out the careless turnovers is what's important for us. When we do cut those careless turnovers out, we usually win by a pretty large margin.

So it's just really focus level, staying locked in, and being, like I've said, we talked about -- when was it? Game 6, I think. Quick, but not in a hurry. We always want to play quick and get up-and-down the floor, but never get sped up and stay at our pace.

Q. You did it for the tail end of that last series, but being without Andre at the beginning of this series, what aspect of his game do you guys miss most on both ends of the court?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Oh, that's a great follow-up to that question, because when you start talking turnovers, he is the guy who is kind of the stabilizing force in that department for us. Also, what he brings to us on the defensive end. It will definitely be missed. But just means a lot of guys have to step up, and other guys have done that thus far, and the task gets even harder.

But I know guys will, and it will be a collective effort in hopes that we keep tracking along until he's ready to come back.

Q. You know how important trust is on the defensive end especially, and when you have Andre out there, it looks like you guys have total trust in everything you're doing. You've missed him for four games now, you have Loon (Kevon Looney), J.B. (Jordan Bell), Nick, Shaun, just what have you seen from the other guys that have kind of kept that trust alive over the last few games and just their development with you guys on the court?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Oh, well, I mean, you go down that list, what J.B. has in physical gifts and the ground that he can make up with his athleticism is incredible. And he's continuing to learn the game.

Looney is one of those guys that really understands the game. He knows where to be. He's always in the right spot.

Shaun understands the game. Shaun took that last series personal. Like there was a point in a couple of those games where he really wanted to lock into C.P. And he did. There were times where Klay and Kevin were on the floor, and he was like, I've got James Harden. He really stepped up for us big in that series defensively as well.

So with all that, I think Shaun has the experience, but Looney with Andre out, Looney has been able to get a ton of experience. Jordan has been able to get a ton of experience, and that will bode well for us moving forward to, like I said, whenever Andre comes back.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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