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June 7, 2018

Steve Kerr

Cleveland, Ohio: Practice Day

Q. There have been times when Kevin Durant was ball dominant in this postseason and his shots didn't always go in and you lost games and everybody was talking about that Kevin has got the ball too much. And there are times like last night where he's a godsend for you guys in that regard. What is the balance you try to strike there? When does it work and when does it not, other than shots just going in?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, it's a fine line, isn't it. Bottom line, in the playoffs, the game gets much more difficult for everybody. It's just harder to get a shot off. You can see that across the board on both teams.

As you go through the playoffs, you see different teams, different matchups, everyone poses a different threat. There are just a handful of guys in the NBA who can kind of get their shot whenever they want, and Kevin happens to be one. And he happens to be 6-11 with long arms. You know, it's almost unfair what he can do.

But, yeah, there have been moments where everybody was talking about how our offense had ground to a halt. Well, that's because of good defense, generally. It's not because we're not trying to move the ball. But I think what he's done a great job of in this series is attacking quickly. He's not holding the ball for long. He's catching and making a decision and putting the defense on its heels. And he's been brilliant, obviously.

Q. I'm not sure you saw the news on Bryan Colangelo. He'll resign. As a former front office staff member, I'm curious as to your thoughts on how to use social media in that position, knowing that it can be great for a career and it can also really harm one, as we've seen?
STEVE KERR: Well, I won't comment on that situation in particular. But I learned pretty quickly. I used to be in television and tweeted all the time. I learned pretty quickly as a coach I'm better off just retweeting interesting articles that I see and leaving everything else to someone else.

I've made a couple mistakes. It's a dangerous game. Even something seemingly innocuous you tweet, and all of a sudden that comes back to haunt you.

I think years ago when I was working at TNT I tweeted something about if I could have one player on the road for a Game 7, it would be LeBron James. Do you think any Cavs fans might have reminded me of that tweet several years afterward? So, yeah, in general, when you're in this position, it's best to avoid that stuff as best you can.

Q. And tell your loved ones to keep burner accounts to a minimum as well?
STEVE KERR: That was your comment, not mine.

Q. With your background as a shooter, and we've also seen you mic'd up talk to Steph when he's not having great shooting games, when the shots don't fall or the attention is too much on him, as a shooter's whisperer that you are, how do you manage that process?
STEVE KERR: Well, as a coach, you just always want to encourage your guys. Steph doesn't need a lot of encouragement. He's built a mindset for himself that has gotten him to where he is, which is he's going to shoot and he's never going to stop. That's why he's able to make the shot like he did last night, which I thought was one of the two biggest shots of the game. His and then Kevin's that followed. Those were the two biggest shots of the game. That's a real skill and a test of will to be able to be 0-for-10 or whatever and make a huge shot.

So Steph doesn't need much encouragement. Every once in a while I might offer a little bit. But he's got the right mindset, which is just you keep going. You keep shooting.

Q. You guys have made winning look so easy at times. Obviously, it's not, but you've made it look that way over these four years. The route that you had to take this year, not being the 1 seed, slumping a little bit toward the end. Steph was hurt. This wasn't the smoothest road for you guys. In some ways does it make you appreciate what you guys have done almost more, the fact that you have shown a resiliency that you weren't really called upon to show much the first three years of this run?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, what I've kind of said this year quite often is that every season is very different. Every journey is a new one each season. Yet the cumulative effect on multiple journeys adds up, and we have felt that this year.

I think it's been our most inconsistent season. It's been our most difficult season. But our guys sense the finish line, and they turned it on right from the beginning of the playoffs defensively. That's been what's been key, I think, to get us to this point where we're on the cusp. Our defense has been fantastic through however many playoff games we've played.

So that's why we're here. Now that we are one game away, we'd like to eliminate that inconsistency and put forth our best effort, our best game tomorrow. That's the plan.

Q. I know there's one game left and your focus is on Game 4, but perspective-wise, this could be the last time these two teams meet in the NBA Finals four straight years. How do you view this rivalry? Has it brought out the best in both teams? How much do you focus on the Cavs each and every offseason? What do you think? How do you put it in perspective?
STEVE KERR: That's really a question I'd rather answer after the series is over. It's hard to go into a retrospective when you're right in the fray still. So if you don't mind I'll pass on that question, and when the series is over, I'd be happy to answer it.

Q. Just as a fan of the NBA, what has it been like for you the past two years having a front-row seat to see two of the best scorers in the NBA history in LeBron and K.D. going head-to-head on the biggest stage?
STEVE KERR: It really is shocking when you see the talent. I was telling our staff after the game last night: I played in five Finals; I don't think I ever saw anybody make a 30-foot shot in the middle of the game, much less four of them, which K.D. did last night, I believe, and which Steph did multiple times the game before, which LeBron did multiple times in Game 1.

The talent level right now I think is at an all-time high in the league. It's very different. You don't have the aircraft carriers, you don't have Shaq and Patrick Ewing and Hakeem. But the skill level on the perimeter is so shocking.

Sometimes I try to picture myself playing in The Finals now. Twenty years ago, I survived. It was tough, but I survived. I could find guys to guard. I can only imagine right now. LeBron would be pointing right at me saying, Come on up. We're going to set a screen with you.

It's gotten so tough. You have to have so much versatility and size and speed and strength to be able to survive on the floor because of this incredible skill level. Because these guys can make shots from 30, 35 feet without blinking.

Now you've got to go out there and pick them up. Now they're driving by you. And they've got four three-point shooters in many cases, but usually at least two three-point shooters. Sometimes three or four surrounding them.

So guarding and playing defense today is the most difficult it's ever been.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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