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June 13, 2019

Steve Kerr

Oakland, California - Postgame 6

Toronto - 114, Golden State - 110

STEVE KERR: Before I take any questions I want to congratulate Toronto. They're a fantastic basketball team. Great defensively, share the ball, play a beautiful style, a lot of great two-way players and a lot of veteran players who have been in this league contributing for a long time. And so I'm very happy for them. Winning a championship is the ultimate in this league, and they have got a lot of guys who have earned this. So congrats to Toronto, to their organization, to their fans, they are a worthy champion.

Let me say a couple words about our team. It's actually, it's hard to put into words how I feel about our team. What I've witnessed as their coach over the last five years is just an incredible combination of talent and character and commitment to each other. This just doesn't happen. A group of guys like this doesn't come around together and do what they did over the last five years. And I've been lucky enough to be their coach. That's what I told them in the locker room. I can't tell you my gratitude in terms of just being put in this position to be with this group and to coach them and to help them. But I could not be any luckier as a coach to be with these guys every day and to watch them compete and, boy, do they compete. I think they showed that throughout this series and throughout the playoffs. So with that I will take some questions.

Q. I know it's obviously so fresh now, but how much do you think a couple years from now you'll look back at this season with the what ifs on the injuries with Kevin and, obviously, what happened to Klay tonight?
STEVE KERR: Yeah. I mean more than the what ifs is just feeling bad for the players involved. Injuries are always part of the NBA season -- any professional sport, injuries play a huge role. It's just the nature of these injuries, the severity of these injuries. And we'll know more about Klay. But we can sit here and say, well, if this hadn't happened or that hadn't happened, that doesn't matter. What matters is Kevin Durant is going to miss next season with an Achilles tear and Klay suffered a knee injury. And we'll know, as I said, we'll know more before too long. But it's just brutal. It's just brutal of what these guys have had to deal with and what they're dealing with right now. So that's my initial feeling.

Q. What is going through your mind when you see Klay go down and obviously in pain and you already have Kevin out, you have Kevon wearing an ice pack and a harness practically when he's not playing. As a coach does it dawn on you that, what is happening here and what are your players saying, what's the emotion through all this?
STEVE KERR: It's amazement that we're sitting in this position with, during the game we have a chance to win the game and force a Game 7 and go back to Toronto, and you just think, how? How has this group of guys put themselves in position to do it. And then as I said, when Klay goes down and is out for the game, it's just sort of a, you got to be kidding me, like this has to stop. But it's just the way it's gone. I don't know if it's related to five straight seasons of playing a hundred plus games and just all the wear and tear, but it's devastating.

Q. What went on when Klay came off? It looked like he was not going to come back, and then came back the down the tunnel. Did you think he might be able to play again or was it just strictly to shoot the free throws?
STEVE KERR: Well, I think what happened was he wasn't aware of the rule that if you don't shoot the free throws, you can't come back in the game. So I think somebody told him in the hallway. Klay being Klay he just turned right around and came back and shot the free throws. And we committed the automatic foul to get him out of the game and he came back and he told me just two minutes. I think there was just two minutes left in the third, and he said just a two minute rest, I'll be ready. And next thing I heard was he was done for the night from Drew Yoder, our trainer.

Q. Before Klay got hurt, 30 points, he was rolling and big if here, but if he doesn't go down, how do you think the game plays out?
STEVE KERR: Doesn't matter. He went down.

Q. You talked about the commitment that these guys have to one another. How did that commitment get you past Klay's injury to Steph having an open look for a game winning shot potentially?
STEVE KERR: Well, they're a gifted, competitive group. And even without the injured players, even without Klay, even without KD you look out on the floor you still got a lot of great basketball players. Andre had a huge night for us. We had to have that. Somebody had to come in and score for us tonight. Andre did that. Draymond was fighting like crazy all night. Looney with a fractured chest cartilage, fighting and fighting and fighting. I thought DeMarcus came in, gave us good minutes. So we just kept going and I think our guys relied on their experience of being in this moment. They don't get nervous. I think they just keep playing and we had a chance. So they fought and gave it every opportunity.

Q. When Steph took the shot, what went through your mind?
STEVE KERR: I just thought it was in. I always think every shot Steph takes is going in. But they don't all go in. But what a warrior, no punch intended. Steph was getting hounded this entire series. Toronto did a great job on him sending two, three people at him, hounding him and harassing him. And especially without Klay to rely on in that fourth quarter, I thought he got a little worn down.

Q. When you look at DeMarcus and the journey he took with overcoming the different injuries and how he fit in with this team, what would you put the season in context for him?
STEVE KERR: I thought, I was really pleased with the way DeMarcus performed the last couple games. He came in and gave us huge minutes and gave it everything he had, committed himself to the team and came off the bench and kept us going when we needed him. So tough season for him in terms of coming off the injury. And then getting injured again in the playoffs. So it was not easy for him, but I think he contributed and I think he learned a lot and I think our guys really enjoyed being around him. I know I did. He helped us, he helped us win a lot of games.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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