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June 4, 2019

Steve Kerr

Oakland, California - Practice Day

Q. A couple injury-related questions. What's the latest on Kevin and his status for tomorrow?
STEVE KERR: Kevin won't play tomorrow, but he's ramping up his exercise routine, his workouts. And Klay is day to day, so he's questionable. And Loon [Kevon Looney] is out for the series.

So there's your medical update.

Q. Andre is okay?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, Andre is going to play.

Q. Was he able to do anything?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, he practiced.

Q. With the importance of sports science staffs and training staffs, what do you want the goal to be? What did you learn from Phoenix that maybe you wanted to bring here, and what is their overall importance in helping put guys on the court?
STEVE KERR: I think the idea is to provide the players the best possible care. I think over the last couple of decades it's incredible the difference in the size of training staffs, the expertise, the overall knowledge that we have now compared to 20 years ago.

You want to hire top-notch people, and you want your players to be well taken care of and to participate in their own well-being. We have a really good group. We're very proud of our group and lucky to have them. And our players have done a very good job of being engaged with them all year. You just try to stay as healthy as possible, but you have to be aware that stuff just is going to happen and there's not much you can do about it.

Q. Going back to Kevon's injury, a nondisplaced first costal cartilage factor. What is that in laymen's terms, and is it a situation where he can't raise his arm?
STEVE KERR: I think it's closer to the breastbone here. It is part of the collarbone, from what I understand, kind of in that joint. It's not anything that's going to be a problem long term. But it's going to keep him out for the rest of the series, which is obviously a big blow for us and for him. He's had such a great season, such a great postseason run. Fortunately it won't affect his future, but it's a big loss for us.

Q. This time of year, the players want to give the most of their bodies, the demands on it, but it's also the time of year where a long season catches up with you. What do you make of the injuries piling up in this moment?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, just the way it goes. We have been playing a hundred-plus games for five years now -- not all of our players, but our team. So we have a lot of guys who have played long, difficult seasons. They take great care of themselves. But there's a certain amount of luck involved with this, too, and we know that. We have been on both sides of that. Some of our opponents have suffered injuries. We have suffered injuries. It's just part of the deal. You just keep pushing forward.

Q. How have all the injuries impacted Steph's role as a leader and just his ability to stabilize things or efforts to stabilize things, and how has he grown into the role of leader?
STEVE KERR: Well, he's been our leader since I've been here. He leads by example. I should clarify that. He's been one of our key leaders. Andre and Draymond I would single out as well. But they all lead in their own unique ways.

Steph leads with his example, his work ethic, his humility. The players all love him. They love playing with him. They appreciate him so much.

I think with the injuries, where he's grown is his awareness, his understanding of what needs to happen, what he needs to do when other guys are out, just sort of game management stuff. But he's always been the same person. I think that's the beauty of Steph. He doesn't change. He's a rock. Our guys lean on him all the time.

Q. It's obviously a different set of injuries and opponent, but what do you think it's going to take to have a kind of performance like the Game 6 against Houston where the star players that are healthy and the bench players all rose to the occasion?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, and that's not the only time that that has happened. The other night was a good example. We had to finish the game without Klay, without Kevin. We did that in Game 5 of the Houston series, too, when Kevin got hurt.

So our team is very adaptable. We have a lot of versatility. What it requires is bench players being ready to step up, like they always are, and guys just playing hard and playing together. I think you have to be fearless, too, which our team is. You can't worry about anything. You just go out there and play and compete and let it fly and whatever happens, happens.

Q. Did Kevin get on the court at all today?
STEVE KERR: Kevin is going to get on the floor at the practice facility later today. He did not get on the floor here. He was here for our film session and for some treatment, but he'll be getting some work in this afternoon. He's out for tomorrow, but improving. And we'll just keep updating you when we have something.

Q. How challenging is this stretch for you and your coaching staff? I mean, can you compare it to other playoff stretches in terms of just what you're having to do, playing young players, losing key bodies, trying to figure out the right rotations?
STEVE KERR: I don't really look at it that way. I haven't even stopped to think about whether this reminds me of any particular year or anything. It's just part of the job.

I think the way we look at it is it's a challenge, and we accept the challenge and embrace it as both a team and a staff. Obviously, we're mostly just feeling sorry for the players who can't be out there, because that's what they work for.

But when it happens, we feel like, all right, we have got to do our jobs and we have to figure out the combinations that will make sense. We just do it, and it's part of the job. I don't want to say it's enjoyable, because it's dampened by the injuries themselves and you feel bad.

I feel so bad for Loon, especially. Klay and Kevin, we're very hopeful they're going to be back out there. But Loon, much like DeMarcus the second game of the playoffs, when these guys go down and especially during the postseason you just feel so badly for them. But the job is to move on and give your team the best chance to win. So we just meet every day and try to figure it out.

Q. Boogie just said that the last time he saw a box-and-one was in middle school. Steph called it a janky defense. I was wondering when the last time you saw a janky defense like that and how do you think it worked against you guys?
STEVE KERR: In ninth grade a team played one against me. Very proud to announce that. I had a box-and-one, just like Steph. So janky defenses have been going on for a long time.

What does "janky" mean anyway? I'm not exactly sure.

Q. That was Steph's word. I don't know.
STEVE KERR: Yeah, it was very effective. The key with the zone is, or any janky defense for that matter, it just changes the rhythm. Watching the tape, we had open looks that we didn't knock down. But the rhythm changed and the look changed. And so it was very effective. They did a good job with that.

It's just typically not something you can rely on for big, long stretches of the game. It's probably something you see more often in high school, even college you'll see it. But I don't remember ever seeing it in the NBA.

Q. How did Klay look moving around or shooting? We saw some shooting. How optimistic are you about Game 3?
STEVE KERR: He says he's feeling well and that he's feeling a lot better today than he did yesterday. And he thinks he'll be ready to go. But as I said the other night, Klay is always going to say he's ready to go. What we'll have to determine is is that a risk? If he plays, are we risking anything?

If the training staff feels good about his ability to go out there and play without making things worse, then he'll play. But if there's a risk, we would rather give him the next couple of days to continue to heal and hopefully have him out there for Game 4. But it's literally day to day.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.


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