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May 29, 2019

Stephen Curry

Toronto, Ontario - Practice Day

Q. About what point did you guys really start noticing that Toronto could be a team you would end up crossing over against, number one, and was it as far back as last summer? And how refreshing is it, if that's a word for you, to have an opportunity to be in a NBA Finals that doesn't involve Cleveland?
STEPHEN CURRY: Probably last four years, honestly, they have been knocking on the door. You always keep up with what's going on in the other conference through every playoff run, and obviously this year's the year they got over the hump. So realistically speaking, it was 10 days ago or what, five days ago when they won Game 6. You kind of lock in on what that experience is going to be like 1) starting on the road in The Finals, 2) playing against a different team other than Cleveland, because Cleveland and The Finals are pretty synonymous for us with our experience. But I would say just this entire year has been kind of wild for us, chasing the same goal but doing it with a lot of noise around us. And to be able to start here in Toronto against a different opponent in our fifth straight Finals creates a great edge for us. I like the energy that we're coming in with for Game 1.

Q. To follow up on what you just said, what is your mindset coming in and playing the first two games ever in The Finals outside the United States here in Toronto?
STEPHEN CURRY: Honestly, that doesn't really come into play for us. We have been here before. We understand the hoopla and the pandemonium around The Finals and how different things are when it comes to just the schedule and the vibe. So we have seen a lot and we'll be ready for it. Have to get settled in early. We know the crowd is going to be crazy. For us, it's a great opportunity to go out and just give 110 percent and figure it out.

Q. For your family, what does it mean to be back here?
STEPHEN CURRY: It's special. I talk about it every year, my dad having played here for three years. This is where he retired. Back in '02, I lived here for a couple years, went to school out here. My wife grew up in Markham, right down the street. So a lot of family history, and that side of the family still lives here. I look forward to coming back here every regular season, and now to be in the NBA Finals it's something I've even been looking forward to if they ever made it. So it's here and I'm going to enjoy it.

Q. What sort of makes Kawhi maybe more difficult to defend now than he's ever been before, and to that end what sort of a comfort is it knowing that at any time you guys have an Andre or a Klay or a Draymond who can be in front of him whenever you guys choose to match up however you will?
STEPHEN CURRY: He's tough, obviously. He's been playing amazing this whole playoff run and really all season. He's always at his own pace, and never seems to get rushed or be in a hurry. He's obviously physically gifted and strong. He can get to his spots, but he's become a really good shooter. Off the dribble getting to a spot, rising up. And his counters are pretty solid, too. You take one thing away from him, he can shift directions, try to get a shoulder by you, get into the paint. He uses entire floor really well.

We have some beyond capable defenders to guard him, take on that one-on-one challenge. That's going to be important. But like we always say and like what we always do when we're executing at a high level, it's just all five guys being on a string, being able to send help and rotate. And they have shooters as well that you have to be aware of. As of late, in the Milwaukee series, some guys got hot and played off Kawhi really well.

So you want to make it as difficult as possible on him and all the other guys who are helping and rotating. Try to take away the threes and rebound the basketball and make him defend on the other end as well.

Q. Jeremy Lin shared his favorite memory of you from back in the day: You guys were teammates, the Warriors were struggling at that time. You had gone through some injuries, and before game 82 he said you rolled your ankle. So he joked he was expecting to start that game, but no, you came out to play. So a couple questions off that. Do you remember that, playing in that game 82? Do you have a favorite moment with Jeremy? And then what is the bond that forms between young players on a struggling team and how does that carry forward?
STEPHEN CURRY: I vaguely remember that. You say ankle rolls, I have to go through the whole Rolodex of all 50 different times. So it's hard to pick out one. But I do remember him when we played with him in the Bay. When he was there, my impressions of him are just how hard he worked and on a daily basis in practice, challenging me, challenging other guards, in terms of trying to make us better and establish himself as a NBA player.

And like most of the world, my favorite thing about him is his perseverance. When he got waived in the middle of training camp and ends up in Houston and then ends up in New York and then obviously Linsanity takes over, it's not a lot of people that can go through that many defeats, if you will, and still have the self-confidence that whenever that opportunity does present itself I'm going to take advantage of it. He's made an amazing career out of that.

So just him as a human being, he's a great dude. When you talk about guys on struggling teams trying to make it, with that bond and that work ethic and just the attitude of we're just going to appreciate every opportunity we have to play basketball, that means a lot, for sure.

Q. What's it going to take for the team to continue to hold down the fort without Kevin, given the unique challenges that Toronto presents?
STEPHEN CURRY: Just keep doing what we have been doing. Doing it by committee. We have had some amazing contributions from everybody on the bench that's come in and produced for us on both ends of the floor. So we're going to have to play smart. Myself, stay out of foul trouble. Draymond, continue to do what he's doing in terms of dominating both sides of the floor. Just play with confidence and play fast, play loose and play disciplined. We know what we're capable of. And when he does come back, we'll be able to transition and hopefully elevate our game even more. So great opportunity for us no matter who is playing.

Q. In your years playing against Kyle Lowry, watching Kyle Lowry, where have you seen the evolution in his game and what challenges does he present in this seven-game series?
STEPHEN CURRY: He's tough and scrappy and just a very high-IQ basketball player. He's always seems to be in the mix, whether he's taking a charge or getting a loose ball or getting a steal or knocking down a big shot. I know he's heard a lot of noise throughout these playoff runs here in Toronto trying to get over the hump and whatnot, but he's just a very solid basketball player that knows how to play the game and knows how to impact it.

You just have to know where he is at all times. You have to match his energy because you know that will be there, especially at home. That's going to be fun. Guys like that bring the best out of you, for sure.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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