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June 12, 2019

Steve Kerr

Oakland, California - Practice Day

STEVE KERR: Before we start, we don't have any news on Kevin right now. I guess there's some speculation out there as to what's going on. But we have no news. As soon as we have some news on any updates, we'll let you know.

Any questions?

Q. Tomorrow's the last game at Oracle. Obviously you guys would like to end it with a win, but regardless of that what has Oracle meant to you over the years?
STEVE KERR: This has been just an incredible environment in which to coach and play back in the day. Even when the Warriors weren't any good, to come in here as a visitor and feel the energy in this building, you could tell that the fans loved the game. This was a basketball hotbed. And just the atmosphere out there, the energy, the noise, over the last five years with our team's rise, combined with that organic energy that this place has always had, it's just been an incredible experience to coach here.

Q. What's been your favorite memory from Oracle that you can remember?
STEVE KERR: My favorite memory is winning the Western Conference Finals in 2015. We beat Houston in Game 5 to advance to The Finals. It was surreal. We weren't sure we were good enough to do it. And the fans hadn't seen anything like that in 40 years, so that was, to me, when this sort of all started.

Q. Many times in the series you've talked about a need for better transition D, better half-court D. What was your assessment of the defense you guys played in Game 5, particularly on the perimeter?
STEVE KERR: I thought we played pretty well. We could always do better. But our guys competed like crazy. That's the main thing. Toronto is tough to guard because they have got a lot of passers and a lot of shooters and they put you in some difficult spots. But everybody who came in was prepared to play and they were flying around and rotating. We did everything we could to hang in the game on the road and we were able to pull it out. So we know that's what it's going to take here as well.

Q. I know we're only supposed to do one question, but I would love to get a comment from you about the news on Lindsay Gottlieb. But also everyone is looking to point fingers, you know. Bob the other night said you can blame me. On talk radio, it's like, Who is to blame for this. What do you think about this whole conversation going on about someone has to be to blame for Kevin getting hurt?
STEVE KERR: I'll answer the Lindsay question first. Thrilled for Lindsay. I've gotten to know her pretty well the last few years. She's visited our practices many times. I'm a transplanted Cal fan since I've had two kids there. I'm disappointed for Cal that they're losing such a dynamic person and a great coach, but I'm thrilled for Lindsay. What a great opportunity and a great hire by the Cavaliers. She's a wonderful person and a hell of a coach.

The second part of the question, I completely understand the world we live in. As Bob mentioned the other night, there's going to be blame. There's going to be finger pointing. We understand that and we accept that. This is kind of what you sign up for when you get into coaching, general management, in the NBA. There's all kinds of coverage, judgment, criticism, and it's all part of it. So we accept that. The main thing is our concern for Kevin and these last couple of days just checking on him. Obviously, everybody feels horrible for what happened. As Bob mentioned the other night, this last month was a cumulative collaborative effort in his rehabilitation. And that collaboration included Kevin and his business partner, Rich Kleiman, our medical staff, his own outside second opinion doctor, outside of our organization. Kevin checked all the boxes, and he was cleared to play by everybody involved.

Now, would we go back and do it over again? Damn right. But that's easy to say after the results. When we gathered all the information, our feeling was the worst thing that could happen would be a re-injure of the calf. That was the advice and the information that we had. At that point, once Kevin was cleared to play, he was comfortable with that, we were comfortable with that. So the Achilles came as a complete shock. I don't know what else to add to that, other than had we known that this was a possibility, that this was even in the realm of possibility, there's no way we ever would have allowed Kevin to come back.

So it's devastating, mostly for Kevin, obviously. But I feel horribly for Rick Celebrini as well, who is one of the best people I've ever been around and one of the smartest, brightest minds that I've ever been around. He's devastated. Bob, the team, we all are. But we made the decision collaboratively with all the information that we had and we thought it was the right one.

Q. After Kevin's injury you guys came back in that game from big shots from big-game players. You're someone who has made shots at the highest levels of pressure in this game and has coached guys, stars or not, at the highest level of this game. What does it takes as a shooter, as a player, to when the pressure is its highest, kind of back-nine pressure at the Masters, that this level of pressure at this series will provide, what does it take to step into and make those shots?
STEVE KERR: A willingness to accept the consequences of missing. Until you get to that point, it's going to be tough. So you have to go into it knowing that even if you are the best in the world, you're going to miss half the time. If you can hit half your game-winning shots, that's a hell of a percentage. But if you go into it thinking, Oh, man, I don't want to miss, it's a big situation, then you're defeated already.

Q. Going back to Lindsay Gottlieb and also Swin Cash getting a front office job with the Pelicans, do you feel like change is happening in the NBA, that women are finding entry points to the league that's reviewing the resumes and recognizing their talent?
STEVE KERR: Yeah, it does feel that way. Obviously, two big hires in the last few days. I think the women's game has gotten so much better. Last year's WNBA playoffs were so compelling. The Phoenix/Seattle series was incredible basketball. I just think the talent that we're seeing, the level of play is probably helping women to gain positions in the men's game. It's great to see and I'm really happy for Swin and for Lindsay, of course, and hopefully there will be many more.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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