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May 30, 2018

Klay Thompson

Oakland, California: Practice Day

Q. What kind of emotion and aggression was bubbling up inside of you as you guys went through those two elimination games?
KLAY THOMPSON: A ton of passion, especially when there is an NBA Championship on the line. Just leave it all out there on the floor, it's that simple.

Q. Do you feel like your voice is valuable at this moment, because you're usually on the quieter side?
KLAY THOMPSON: All our voices are valuable. But I just try to speak when I feel like it's important, and it's that simple. Play hard and speak when you feel like you can motivate someone.

Q. Are you surprised it's Cavs and Warriors for the fourth time?
KLAY THOMPSON: Not really. I mean, I knew that Cleveland -- actually, to start the year, I thought Cleveland had a great shot. I thought we did too. So I'm not too surprised. But I'm familiar with the situation, obviously. I'm just excited to get tomorrow started.

Q. You guys have been best in this postseason when your backs are against the wall a little bit. You're considered big favorites in this series. Can you manufacture some of that adversity, or do you feel it naturally?
KLAY THOMPSON: Yeah, we don't want to go through the ups and downs we did last series. So hopefully don't do that this series. Obviously, win tomorrow, have fun, start the series off right by just playing as hard as we can tomorrow and setting the tone, go from there.

But who knows how it's going to go. It's hard to say, if we want to sweep them or we want to win in five or six, you just never know in the NBA.

Look at last series, look at the Cavs' Eastern Finals. Both teams were down 3-2, and I don't know if it's a good probability for both teams to come out and win, but it happened.

Q. Can it be bad thing for the NBA to have the same two teams in The Finals every year?
KLAY THOMPSON: I don't think so. I think the rest of the NBA has got to get better. It's not our fault. I'm sure if you asked the fans of the Warriors and the Cavs around the world, whether it's in the Bay Area or in Cleveland, I'm sure they're happy with their team performance.

The only people I hear saying that are fans from other teams, which is natural. I don't blame them. But as long as our fan base is happy, that's all that matters.

Q. How do the dynamics change with Andre [Iguodala] out for Game 1?
KLAY THOMPSON: Oh, man, we missed him, we missed him dearly since he's been out. But Kevon [Looney] has done a great job in the starting lineup, and whoever we insert there, and we'll be that much better when Andre comes back. We definitely miss all the intangibles he brings and experience. He is a Finals MVP, so we'll definitely miss his presence Game 1.

Q. You guys have been so good in third quarters. What is it about flipping that switch?
KLAY THOMPSON: Probably the embarrassment of our performances in many first halves this postseason. But luckily for us it's a 48-minute game, so you can never count us out even when we're down big.

Q. Reaching this moment is everything you guys have played for. There must be a physical and mental toll. How are you doing to this point?
KLAY THOMPSON: Doing great. It's obviously harder to get here than performing when you get to this stage, just because you can play off adrenaline, and knowing the end is near helps. But getting to this point is a long grind, and it should not be taken for granted that we're here for the fourth straight time. This is not normal. We're going to make the most of it.

I know our fans were excited. It was pretty cool to see them 13,000 strong watching Game 7 in this arena, and hopefully we can bring that same energy tomorrow.

Q. LeBron has reached his eighth straight final. What do you think about what he's done to his body to have the endurance to reach this point again?
KLAY THOMPSON: It's pretty amazing. This is my fourth. I can't imagine doing this four more times. I'd love to, but it's just so hard. I don't care who he's faced. I don't care who has been out, eight straight times, eight straight times. I think he might have eclipsed Bill Russell. I'm not sure of the exact stat, but he's up there. The fact he's doing that in the modern era is pretty remarkable.

So you've got to give him a lot of respect, but also his teammates. I mean, those guys have been there with him since he got back to Cleveland. This is their fourth time going, so you can't discredit what they've done. This is a team sport. He's got All-Stars and guys who have been in this league a long time. Yeah, it's pretty remarkable that they've been dominating the East like they have in the last four years.

Q. As you watch him on film, what is different about his game in maybe the last three NBA Finals match-ups that you've faced them?
KLAY THOMPSON: Honestly, not much. Still a triple-double threat every night. Doing it in crunch time, doing it for 48 minutes, not resting. So not much has changed. Just he's a year older.

Q. Are you excited to go up against him again, or do you wish it was a new team?
KLAY THOMPSON: I'm excited. I'm just grateful to be here. Can't really wish that he's in front of us and the rest of the Cavaliers are. I'm very familiar with the city of Cleveland now, so I know where the good spots are to eat, where to see good movies, so that helps. I mean, it's an honor to face LeBron. He's a once-in-a-generation type player. They've got a great supporting cast around him.

Q. How are you able to maintain the perspective that you're in the midst of the NBA's best rivalry in the past four, five years?
KLAY THOMPSON: Just enjoying every minute of it. Enjoying talking to you guys, believe it or not, enjoying the media coverage. Guys don't get this throughout their careers, and we get it in every June. So it's a pretty cool position to be in and something we've gotten used to. But you don't want to get used to it because it's so hard to get here. I can't wait for tomorrow.

Yeah, we're all happy to be a part of history. I think this is the only time in major professional sports this has happened, so that's pretty good. You think about all the great rivalries in not just basketball but sports around the world, but first two franchises do it, it's pretty cool.

Q. What would you say about this rivalry?
KLAY THOMPSON: Obviously, we respect each other as professionals, but there's obviously some dislike because we've been facing it for four years and they beat us, we beat them. So there are some natural competitiveness that brews between the fan bases and teams that makes for fun, fun energetic nights in this arena.

So it's a good, healthy rivalry, and something that I'll be able to say I was a part of, just like the Celtics-Lakers, Cavs-Warriors. I mean, Bulls-Knicks. I could keep going down the line, so it's pretty sweet.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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