March 7, 2021
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Team LeBron 170, Team Durant 150
Q. Steph, it was a different experience this year, but how was it overall? Looked like y'all were having fun out there, especially the Three-Point Contest. How was the Sunday overall?
STEPHEN CURRY: It was awesome. I think having everything all in one night was different, but it was nice to have all the guys who were here in Atlanta on the court supporting each other, trying to bring some energy and having fun. Three-point shootout was obviously a big accomplishment in terms of that last rack and having fun with that, getting the job done, and then turning that into a win and some good shooting during the game. A successful night all the way around.
Q. What was it like being a teammate and playing with LeBron for the first time after being his competitor for so long?
STEPHEN CURRY: It was a great experience. We had fun in the locker room chopping it up. I know he was managing his minutes tonight, but it was good energy in the first quarter. It's part of being around this league long enough, obviously the new format with the All-Star Game and mixing and matching conferences, even though he's in the West now, it was bound to happen, and we had a great time. Obviously representing him as the captain, KD on the other side, and we got the win. It was a memorable night for sure.
Q. How does it feel to be teammates with Dame, especially since a lot of people are comparing you with him in terms of you having long range? And how did it feel being on the floor with him exchanging threes, especially at the end of the first half?
STEPHEN CURRY: I mean, we've been in All-Star Game together, been teammates before, but a lot of the talk about us extending our range and chatter over the summer and all that. You couldn't draw it up any more perfect, especially in that first half, with him taking the first half-court shot, it kind of surprised me that he was launching it and it barely missed, came back, redeemed himself, and then I got to finish it off before the half.
Obviously showing off our skill set, and been trying to do it for a long time, and it was good energy back and forth, and just showing off what we could do.
Q. I saw the Warriors tweet the video of you shouting out Klay. Why was it important to do that and how much are you looking forward to playing against Klay in an All-Star Three-Point Contest in the future?
STEPHEN CURRY: Any time I've been in a Three-Point Shootout since, what, 2015, we had a couple battles back and forth. Any time you're shooting in this environment, you can't help but think about how much fun Klay would have out there. I know he's trying to get healthy and he'll be here next year, but it was -- bringing the trophy back, obviously the Splash Brothers are bringing it back. I think it's in its rightful place right now, so we'll keep it.
Q. You and LeBron have both accomplished so much in this league, but tonight was the first time you've ever been on the same team on an NBA court together like this. We saw the footage of you kind of watching the chalk toss and stuff like that. What are you going to remember about playing with LeBron for the first time?
STEPHEN CURRY: There's not a specific thing, it's just a great experience overall. Like you said, something I hadn't done before or we hadn't done before, so you can kind of check that off the list. It's just a different vantage point for everybody when you come into an All-Star locker room and you see the guys that you compete with night in, night out, year after year, and got to acknowledge the respect that you have for everybody in there because we all do it differently but we all do it at a very high level, and obviously Bron has been doing it for a very long time. There's so much respect there even as we compete throughout the years.
Q. The energy was different surrounding this whole weekend, and even the game today. How would you describe the energy? Did it feel like an All-Star Game? How did the game feel to you out there?
STEPHEN CURRY: The game itself felt the same. The only thing is you can't really see the crowd in normal years like outside of the courtside rows. The energy is definitely louder and more engaged with more people, but the only thing that really was really missing was the first -- the courtside kind of -- the who's who sitting down there and just the energy around the court. I remember watching it last year in Chicago, and that was half the fun of the new format. The ending was everybody who was courtside or in that lower part of the stands just all locked in and engaged in the game, and there was some dope photos of that. That was the biggest piece that was missing. Our families were here but they were a little bit more subdued. Other than that, the game was pretty much the same.
Q. When this game was first announced there were a few players who voiced some reservation about having it. Just wondering now that you've gone through it, the experience, how you think the league pulled this off.
STEPHEN CURRY: Yeah, there's obviously a big balancing act, and I know Adam Silver tried to articulate that throughout this process, and obviously us as players we have reactions to everything that happens because it's our world and we're living in it.
You know, it was still kind of a shock in terms of not really being a talking point when the season started, but in terms of keeping things condensed so that we come in, do our job and put on the show that we did tonight and then get back to our respective homes and enjoy a mini break before we start, most teams on Thursday, you know, that's kind of what it ended up being.
I think mission accomplished, obviously. Hopefully everybody is safe and healthy. We know that two guys, contact tracing, but hopefully they kind of pull through that, and we'll get back to playing basketball in the second half.
Q. I know in light of the HBCUs tonight and in light of what's been going on in our society, what are some of the lessons that you learned from 2020 that you can hope to carry on so that this can be an everyday thing? I know a lot of things are happening with the Asian American community lately, so that social justice can be more of a conversation to continue it even beyond just the trend. What are some of the things you've learned that can carry on in our society?
STEPHEN CURRY: I don't know if I've learned anything. I think there's a lot of progress that has happened in terms of conversations, in terms of action and change and the galvanizing of awareness. A lot of guys in our league have been plugged in to the community, been doing amazing work, supporting local communities, obviously supported HBCUs before 2020. I think all those things were happening, but collectively in our country as a whole, whatever side of the conversation you're on or the debate or what have you, I feel like there's more of a collective commitment to what we all can do individually and as a group to do exactly what you said, like make this an everyday expectation as opposed to just a moment.
That's a positive sign. I guess the one thing I have learned is there's so many people that are doing amazing work across our country in different communities, obviously being in here and Atlanta, obviously shout out to Stacey Abrams who I got to meet and do some work with and support some of her initiatives, but across the board there are so many people doing amazing things, and we all have a responsibility to continue to plug in.
Like you said, it's not just Black Lives Matter, it's ending racism across the board, no matter what your background is, stopping Asian hate, speaking for people that can't speak for themselves and doing the work publicly and behind closed doors.
We all have to be accountable and committed to that.
Q. You've had the experience of an All-Star Weekend, a normal one spread out over several days. You've had this experience where it's kind of condensed. Does one feel more or less exhausting than the other?
STEPHEN CURRY: Definitely the prior experiences are more exhausting. I would love this experience with just fans and more energy around the city and the building but in a safe manner. But having everything in one night was kind of cool.
Q. With you and Dame both doing your thing from deep, to what extent did you guys have any playful back-and-forth determining which one would be the guy to end the game with a three?
STEPHEN CURRY: It all happens naturally. We didn't even choreograph that at all. Just I saw -- as soon as he got the ball, I'm starting to do celebration before he even shoots. Same with me. Just kind of feeling the game out and taking shots that I think we think we can make, we know we can make, but we're just trying stuff.
Q. How is it to be back here on this stage at the All-Star Game after all you went through?
STEPHEN CURRY: It means a lot. Like I said, there's a lot of work that went in over the last year, and I'm happy and blessed and grateful to God that I'm healthy this year and able to do what I love at the highest level and be recognized for it individually. Just trying to keep things moving in the right direction for the second half of the season. So this is a really cool milestone, and it's good to be back with the best 24 in the league.
Q. You always hold that follow-through at that last shot in the Three-Point Contest. When it left your hand, did you know it was good?
STEPHEN CURRY: Absolutely, and if I would have missed I would have held my follow-through even harder. It felt good, so I'm glad it went in so it made me look even better.
Q. You keep saying "best 24." I know you like playing with all the guys out there, but is there anyone in particular to sort of be on the side of seeing it from within, from within your team, whether it's Giannis or LeBron or any of the guys that sort of experiencing their game from the other direction felt cool to you tonight?
STEPHEN CURRY: I mean, honestly, it's everybody, because everybody does it differently and there's a respect across the board for the talent, the skill level, the experience. You know, for everybody that got to suit up here. It was also really cool to see Mike Conley here. I've forever called him, along with Jrue Holiday, one of the most underrated point guards in the league. Since he's been in the league, he's been consistently great but has never had the opportunity to be an All-Star until this year. I don't care about replacements and all that type of stuff. It's a more than well-deserved honor, so it was awesome to see him out here in year 14. Like that's crazy.
Q. Talking with Chris [Paul] about the exchange of the lobs, the lob dunks. He said you two had talked about that before. Can you take us through how that came about?
STEPHEN CURRY: That was the only thing that was choreographed tonight, and it was between me, him and Dame, we were kind of discussing athleticism, if you will, and how we both like to jump, and you could tell that we both didn't know what the hell we were talking about because we were talking about getting oops. We could only do it from one side, so we were trying to find a way to get each other an opportunity to throw one and catch one.
It happened quick, and it was Dame, then me, then CP, so everybody connected. So, it was a pretty cool moment to show off whatever athleticism and hops we still have in our old legs.
Q. What memories will you take away from this particular All-Star experience in Atlanta? I know it's different, but just talk about this year's experience.
STEPHEN CURRY: I still appreciate just being here and enjoying being an All-Star, what the weekend usually means. Even with it being different this year I still had a great time out there. I still love basketball, and yeah, it drives you. Obviously, we want to win and be in the Playoffs and Finals and chasing championships, but along the way some acknowledgment in terms of being an All-Star is pretty awesome.
Q. The HBCUs and the COVID relief, can you talk about some of the charities that are taking place?
STEPHEN CURRY: I mean, they talked about how much money was raised tonight. I think over $3 million I think in total throughout the weekend. To put historical black colleges and universities on the national radar, on the national map in terms of the culture, the excellence and just the community, I think that goes a long way. I grew up in Charlotte, used to go to Johnson C. Smith and work out at their gym. Coach [Stephen] Joyner who's the head coach there and is a great family friend, and used to see him all around the city. To kind of see that full circle, obviously the stuff that I've been doing with Howard University and the like, there's a lot of good that's coming from those colleges and universities, and want to continue to support them and put them on the map.
Q. I just wonder how many three-point contests you had as a kid growing up against your dad and brother and how fun were they if you had them? I'm sure you had a lot, right?
STEPHEN CURRY: Yeah, too many to count, but I don't know what the tally is. You're only as good as your last game, so I'm the champ of the family right now.
Q. At this point in your career, what fuels you? What more do you have to accomplish?
STEPHEN CURRY: I have a lot to accomplish. I don't have anything to prove. There's a little subtle difference there. What drives me is just having fun. I truly love to play basketball. I'm just appreciative and grateful that it's at the highest level, and I get to kind of still pursue a higher level of excellence on the court. As we all know, our careers have a finite window, and you never know when the basketball gods, if you will, will tell you to hang them up, so as long as I feel healthy and strong and keep doing what I'm doing, the joy naturally comes out.
That fuels everything, my teammates, with that season-to-season grind, chasing championships and all that. I just love it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports