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June 5, 2018

Steve Kerr

Cleveland, Ohio: Practice Day

STEVE KERR: Hi, everybody. Before I start, I want to send condolences to Dwight Clark's family. All of us with the Warriors are thinking about Dwight and his life and his impact in the Bay Area.

I personally did not know him and did not meet him, but I'm friends with several of his 49er teammates, and I know how devastated they are. Such a sad day for all of us, and we're thinking about the family. Just wanted to pass that along before we get it going.

Q. Up 2-0, I mean, it's a game of desperation for them. How easy is it for you up 2-0 to get a little complacent and tough to match the energy of a team that's desperate?
STEVE KERR: Well, we've been here before, and that's the biggest thing. We've been here the last three years for Game 3. First year, it was 1-1. Last two years, we were up 2-0. All three games were really, really difficult. So we're used to that. We're used to the dynamic of being ahead in a series and then having everything shift when you go on the road. But especially when you play Cleveland. LeBron, this crowd and their environment, we know the kind of force they're going to bring. And we have to be prepared for that. We know it. We'll see if we can do it.

Q. Your thoughts on the Eagles situation and on your team and your kind of being in the forefront of that, what is going on now?
STEVE KERR: It's not surprising. I think the President has made it pretty clear he's going to try to divide us, all of us in this country, for political gain. So it's just the way it is. I think we all look forward to the day when we can go back to just having a celebration of athletic achievement and celebrate Americans for their achievement, their good deeds.

The irony is that the Eagles have been nothing but fantastic citizens in their own community. They've done so much good. I've read a lot about their team. Malcolm Jenkins, Chris Long -- these guys are studs. They're amazing.

So it will be nice when we can just get back to normal in three years.

Q. Do you have an update on Andre Iguodala, and how would you plan on using him if he's available?
STEVE KERR: He's doing better. He played yesterday some one-on-one, did some full-court drills. He told me he's feeling better. So I would upgrade him to questionable. He'll go through practice today, and we'll see how he feels after that, and tomorrow. But I think he's getting closer, and I'm hopeful that he can play. If not tomorrow, then in Game 4. But, again, it's day to day.

Q. There was an exchange, I think, with Jordan Bell at the end of the third quarter where he committed that foul on LeBron and Andre sort of lectured him a little bit on the bench, and then Jordan forced the steal. What's it like having him around, just even though he wasn't playing, but still having some sort of influence with the guys?
STEVE KERR: It's another coach. He's literally another coach. He pulled us aside during Game 1 during a timeout and made a suggestion. Something defensively. We did it, and it worked. Wasn't surprising. But Andre has that kind of impact on our team. He's one of the smartest basketball minds I've ever been around.

Q. After the game Sunday night Draymond called Klay probably the toughest guy he's ever played with. You don't normally think of Klay as Mr. Tough Guy. Why is it that we don't think of him that way, and what is it that Draymond was getting to about his toughness?
STEVE KERR: Just that he's there every single day. He's never missed a playoff game. He's only missed a handful of games in his entire career. Some of them were because I insisted on giving him a rest. But he finally missed some time this year with a wrist injury -- wrist? Thumb? What was it? Wrist, yeah.

But he's just there. He's like a machine every day at practice. Unless he sleeps in and misses practice, which he's done a couple times.

But he's just there. You count on him. You just count on him every day. Toughness is often looked at -- I think to answer your question, a lot of people think of toughness and they think bravado. But toughness is also a quiet confidence and a resilience. I think Klay embodies that. He's there for us every night. Doesn't say much. But we can count on him every day.

Q. You've got friends in the NFL. I don't know if you've heard from them. I've heard from them maybe pushing back on some of your comments about the anthem. Have you heard anything? They point out that the NBA has a policy also where players must stand for the anthem, and I believe there is some understanding they can stay in the back. If one of your players wanted to actually protest during the anthem, would you be OK with that? Would you understand that?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, of course, because you have to understand that what players have protested is not the military. They're protesting police brutality and racial inequality. So if any American wants to protest that anytime, that's their right as Americans. That's what the military fights for, is free speech. So I would be perfectly fine with any of our players doing so.

I think the point I was trying to make a couple weeks ago is that the NBA has always been very much a partner with the union and with the players in this issue. I don't think it's a coincidence that we have gone through this together and there haven't really been any issues in the NBA.

Players are very socially active. Teams and management and the league itself are very supportive of not only community service, of course, but political commentary. So it's just a partnership. That's the point I was making, comparing it to the NFL.

Q. The Cavaliers are saying they want to get more physical with you guys tomorrow and Friday. I'm sure you've seen that before. How do you combat that?
STEVE KERR: Well, that's their advantage. They're bigger and stronger. They've beaten us up on the boards a little bit. You have to combat that with smart play and boxing out and making sure you're putting a body on people. We can't leave a guy one-on-one against Tristan Thompson trying to box him out. You've got to get multiple bodies in there.

We've got to be ready for their pressure defensively. We've got to execute. We've got to take care of the ball.

Q. What do you remember last year with -- not Game 3, but Game 4. You guys came in with a chance to actually sweep the postseason. What did you see from the Cavs and your team in that Game 4?
STEVE KERR: I think they made like 24 threes. Is that right?

Q. Something like that. A lot of threes.
STEVE KERR: They made a ton of threes. I think they shot maybe 28 free throws in the first half. I might be wrong on that. So they brought the force that game. We fouled a lot, and we were not at our best. So we remember all that stuff. We've got to be better.

Q. How have you seen this season the dynamic with Steph Curry and Kevin Durant play out in terms of knowing when it's best for one of them to get going or both?
STEVE KERR: There is just a sense that we're all on the same team and nobody cares about whose team it is and all that stuff. Our guys just play. There have been games where K.D. has had to take over. There have been games where Steph takes over. And there are lots of games in between.

We literally never have a conversation about who needs to take over. What we do is we decide where are we going to attack? How are we going to attack. Every team presents a different challenge. So we try to find areas where we can attack and take advantage of matchups and give ourselves the best chance to score.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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