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May 31, 2019

Draymond Green

Toronto, Ontario - Practice Day

Q. I know you were primarily focused on what goes on in between the 94 feet, but here in the outside world especially after last night's game, the reaction it seems like most people back in the States were rooting for you guys to lose and then obviously here in Canada, you have a whole country that's probably pulling for the Raptors. Do you guys feel that you guys are kind of the enemy of the series and they want to see you get knocked off the top?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Yeah, that's cool. People in the States are rooting against us because we beat all their teams. So it's all good. When you're at the top, no one's ever cheering for you to stay there. People want to see you get to the top and they want to see you fall. That's just kind of the mind of the most human beings.

So it's all good, but yeah. Their team is sitting at home with them.

Q. Is it extra motivation?
DRAYMOND GREEN: No, we don't need that. We're trying to win a championship. We know what it takes to win a championship. So we don't need to reach for extra motivation. If winning a championship isn't enough motivation for you, then you got other issues.

Q. Given all the circus that exists around the NBA today with social media and with the salary cap and free agency and the 24-hour news cycle, the fact that you guys are here, the fifth straight year, is somehow remarkable. What is it about you guys, your group, this assemblage of people, that has allowed the noise to get blocked out and for you guys to stay so connected and hungry?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I think you hit it right there: It's the people that you bring together. I think our front office has done a great job of not only finding talent, but finding guys who want to win. I think so many times there are so many other things that you hit on that come into play. And I'm not going to sit here and say money doesn't matter or accolades doesn't matter. Who doesn't want those things?

But I think what we have done a great job of is putting the No. 1 goal ahead of all of that. We have been successful and we have been reaching that No. 1 goal, and it's been paying off for everybody. It started with me in 2015. We won a championship. I got my contract. And then it went to Steph and Andre and Klay even before me and Kevin. When you reach the No. 1 goal, which we have been able to accomplish, all those other things then seem to take care of themselves.

I think so many times you see people struggle to put those team goals ahead of their personal goals, thinking their personal goals are taking a back seat. But if you put the team goals ahead of that, it pulls your personal goals right along with it. I think we have been able to do that.

Q. When you were talking about Siakam last night, how he has kind of played himself into a guy in this league, do you have a little more respect for guys like that as kind of a player in your own right who didn't come into the league as a top-five kind of guy who everyone said was going to be a star right away and had to play his way into the respect he's gotten?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Absolutely. It's a different respect. I respect guys who are top five, top 10 guys in the league. For instance, like LeBron, he came in the Chosen One, King James, all these things out of high school, and he actually lived up to it. That's incredible. He probably exceeded what everyone even thought that he would be, and yet everybody thought he would be everything. I think he possibly exceeded that.

You still respect that, but it's a different type of respect when you're talking about a guy who - the guys who really got it out the mud. You come into this league and there's really no space for you. You're essentially someone who kind of comes in -- I mean, you can be out in a year, you can be out in two years, you can be out in four years. And to gain that respect and to, as I said before, become one of those guys, I think it's special. Siakam has done that. He's become a second option on his team. Some nights the first option, like last night. But I can't say I foresaw that. I played against him last year. I had no clue he would be this guy this year. But he spent a lot of time in the gym and it's paying off in his game.

So it's a different respect for guys like that. Not that I don't respect other guys who are up there. You just have a different appreciation for them.

Q. Obviously Kevin, whether he's physically ready is up in the air. But he's around the team now out here. Do you see him mentally kind of getting prepared? Do you see him mentally moving closer to returning?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Yeah, you can see him inching closer back to the team. I think so much has been made of Kevin because of what lies ahead for him -- oh, he's not with the team, he's not around, he's not a part of it. In December or November or whatever month I was out, I wasn't around the team either. And at times Steph was missing; he wasn't around the team either. That's kind of how the cookie crumbles. You're on your own schedule. You're rehabbing. You're doing all these different things to get back.

So now you kind of see him around the team more. All of a sudden he's on the bus to shootaround or to practice. Once you start to get closer, you start to kind of move back into a normal schedule. You starting to see him, hear his voice more. You're starting to hear him coming up with adjustments even before the game, giving his input. But that's kind of just the natural build-up when you're going through an injury.

Q. It's been a long time since you guys woke up down 0-1 in a series obviously. But you were down a couple of times in 2015. You were down last year to the Rockets. Do you draw upon these experiences now or do you not think of it that way and just figure out how to win Sunday?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I think each series is different. Like you said, those were awhile ago, so it's a different feel. You never lose that experience. You can always look back on it and it's more about how you felt, what was your mindset then. But it's impossible to be the same because it's completely different teams. And although some of us may have that experience, others on our team have not had that experience.

So you can always look back and kind of recall those feelings that you had, but it's a different situation. Each series presents its challenges, as this one does, and it's on us to figure those challenges out and then do what we need to do to exceed those.

Q. After a game, especially an NBA Finals game, do you think the media should just stick to what happened on the basketball court and leave the other stuff for social media? And if those questions do come up, like the question with Drake, how would you prefer those questions to be framed?
DRAYMOND GREEN: People can ask what they want. I think at the end of the day, it's on us whether we want to answer it or not. So, yeah, it really don't bother me.

Drake talking on the sideline, I think so many people make a big deal out of it. It is what it is. He's a fan. He talks and it gets more attention because he's Drake. So many people are complaining about it, like, "You don't let any other fan do that." Yeah, any other fan is just not Drake, so they probably shouldn't be able to do that. That's just kind of how the cookie crumbles.

He's worked his ass off to be who he is. I think we all know when you do that, you get more leash than others. I think there's so much talk and the NBA needs to -- no, they don't. He worked to be who he is; you should get more leash. But I don't mind it. It's fun for me.

So, yeah, it is what it is. I don't really care what people ask.

Q. Before Game 1 Andre said that the Raptors obviously have a lot of deer out there. We saw that transition in Siakam's speed as well. Team-wise how does their speed compare to other playoff series that the Warriors have been in?
DRAYMOND GREEN: They definitely have a lot of speed. I think we definitely come across some teams with a lot of speed. But we have seen it now. You can hear about it all you want. Our coaching staff has preached about it since we found out we were playing them: transition defense, transition defense. It's different once you see it and once you feel it.

So now that we got a feel for it, we know how to adjust. We know how important that it is, and it's on us to then make the effort. All transition defense is is effort and communication. So it's on us to make sure that we make that effort in getting back and getting our defense set and communicating -- who has ball, who is picking up shooters.

But they're very fast. A little faster than it even looks on tape, that's for sure.

Q. What did you think about DeMarcus's minutes last night? And do you think that the expectations outside might have been a little too high about just how he can move and how long he could give good minutes just coming back from an injury like that?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I'm not sure what the expectations were, but I thought his minutes were good. I thought he made great passes. He got to the free-throw line. I thought he was solid on the defensive end. First time essentially playing in, what, a month, month and a half, something like that.

I don't know how much you really can expect, especially that game was fast. I think some people may try to say, oh, DeMarcus struggled with the speed. Well, if DeMarcus struggled with the speed, so did I, so did Steph and every other one of us. I don't think there was any difference in him than any of the rest of us. We struggled with our speed last night, and it's something that we all have to be more aware of. But overall, I thought he gave us really good minutes.

Q. You spoke about the speed and sort of getting used to the flow of the series. I'm wondering, when you meet an opponent that you haven't played a whole lot, does it wind up being more adjusting to what they're doing or making adjustments just to the way you're approaching them?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I think it's a little bit of both. I think some of the challenges they presented for us last night were on them. You have to give their defense some credit. And some of it we can do a lot better in executing. Some shots we make, we missed. Some plays we make, we didn't make them last night. So you have to give them some credit, but I think there are also some adjustments that we can make among ourselves in what we're doing and our execution to be better.

Q. Your three-point rate has been dramatically down in this post-season compared to previous playoff runs. I was wondering if you could just explain why that is and the impact that it's had on you and on the team's offense?
DRAYMOND GREEN: It's been down because I've just been getting to the hole. If I can get to the hole, that's a better shot for me. Saying that, I don't think much of it. If I had a three-point shot and I got a lane, I'm going to take that lane and get to the basket. That's pretty much what it's been for me. I think I've been pretty successful at getting to the hoop.

Q. The point you made last night about how things start with you defensively, where do you go from there with that?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I have to be more aggressive on the defensive side of the ball. I think aggressiveness starts with me and everybody else will follow that. If I'm on my heels, everyone else is on their heels. I think that was kind of the story of last night.

I started the game not as aggressive as I could be on that side of the ball and it showed in our team defense.

Q. To follow up, over the years you and a lot of other guys on the team have been very self-accountable. I was wondering from your perspective why do you think that that is important to have on this team?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I think that we're champions. We understand what it takes. We know what each of us are capable of and we hold ourselves to a higher standard than most people. I think people hold us to a higher standard, but we hold ourselves to an even higher standard. So when we feel we're falling short of that, we're not afraid to say it. And I think that's important in a championship culture, to be able to self-regulate. You don't always need the coach to tell you something. You don't always need teammates to tell you something. You have to know that within yourself and you present that and you do something about it.

Q. A follow-up on DeMarcus, can you summarize what kind of a career moment this is that he has reached an NBA Finals? Some guys don't get to taste that in their career, especially when he overcame two long-term injuries with the Achilles and the quad.
DRAYMOND GREEN: I think that it's a great moment. It's his first playoffs and he's playing in the NBA Finals. It's a special moment, especially with everything that he's battled back from. Like you said, the Achilles a little over a year ago, and then suffering the quad injury, what, six weeks ago or whatever it was.

It's a special moment for him, a special moment for us seeing him out there. It will be even more special if we can win this series and he can get a ring and we all get a ring.

That's what it's all about. I don't think any of us are playing just to say we made it to The Finals. Losing in The Finals is no fun. You lost all your summer to walk away with nothing. So we want to win.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Draymond.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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