February 20, 2022
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Team LeBron 163, Team Durant 160
Q. You have the Kobe Bryant MVP Award there. Does it add something extra for you to win this trophy? And also, being on the 75 team, what does it mean for you?
STEPHEN CURRY: This is definitely special. The first year you got to honor Kobe and his life and his legacy with this trophy. All the thought that went into it. I can't spit it off the top I my head, but I know that everything on this trophy means something in terms of his life and what he represented, accomplishments on the court, and to have it be an All-Star MVP trophy and for it to be the first one, it definitely makes it special. I've only won one, and to have this one, it will have a special place at my house.
Like I said, the 75 list and the ceremony was very surreal, for sure. Especially I know for me and the rest of the active players that are on that list, this is obviously a dream come true, but it's something that you don't really get to appreciate until that moment at halftime when you see everybody walking out and you understand where you are and the history of the league. So it's pretty special.
Q. When you were first introduced, obviously, the Cleveland fans still had all your performances and wins from the Finals in mind, but what was it like as the game went on and you kept making all those threes to be in Cleveland and hear the Cleveland fans cheering so loudly for you?
STEPHEN CURRY: I didn't hear the cheers. (Laughing) No, obviously, I have a lot of history in this building, won a lot of games, lost a lot of games, everywhere in between. It, obviously, means there's history here, and the fans I think appreciate it, but it comes out in the form of boos, and I enjoy it because it's not the first time, not the last time. And it takes some energy to boo, so you got to care a lot to do that.
I tried to channel that into the performance tonight and just have fun with it. I got hot early and kept it going, and tried to put on a little bit of a show. The joy started to come out, and hopefully everybody appreciated it.
Q. Somewhat along those lines, but you have a long history with LeBron, and we've all talked at length about you being born in the same hospital as him and so you're from Akron too. Do those two components make winning the MVP of the All-Star Game in Cleveland a little more special?
STEPHEN CURRY: Yeah, I told him on the court after the game it was kind of a perfect ending. I was chasing that extra two or three points. I think DeMar hit a big shot, and then he came out and hit the game-winner. It was kind of a perfect ending. Obviously I got the MVP; I played well the whole night. He hit the game-winner. All the history of our series and the Akron ties, and all that kind of going into how the night went, so it was pretty -- can't really draw it up any other way. It's right on the nose of how it should go.
Q. You have been a big supporter of HBCUs. Can you kind of talk about the HBCU Classic and what it meant for the league to have that for the first time this year?
STEPHEN CURRY: That was huge. Any time you can create an opportunity to put two universities and basketball programs on stage like that on a weekend like All-Star Weekend is important in terms of representation, in terms of just first-class experience for those athletes and to highlight how special those HBCUs are and how special all HBCUs are. It piggybacks off the work that I know a lot of players are doing in terms of investing, giving back, creating opportunities and awareness throughout the course of the year. Myself, obviously, with Howard and the golf team and CP (Chris Paul) has done a lot in terms of highlighting a lot of different HBCUs.
That game there was a lot of energy. We went in the locker room and talked to the guys in the game, and you could tell how important it was for them to go out and have fun. But we told them to enjoy this experience because you're shining a light on what going to these programs means and how you can impact the world as you leave. You're going to create an inspiration for somebody to put that on their radar of maybe that's a good opportunity for them to pursue as they are picking colleges. Everything about it was awesome.
Q. Two of the only holes in your rÃ©sumÃ© were Finals MVP and All-Star MVP. Was that something that was on your mind at all heading into tonight? Was that kind of a motivating factor at all for you?
STEPHEN CURRY: Kind of, yeah, because it's my eighth time playing in this game. You understand the nuances of the game and how different guys approach it. Guys get hot and they put on a show. Starts to go a certain way. It definitely was something I wanted to experience, and once I kind of knew I was feeling it, you kind of wanted to ride that wave and see how it ended up.
Like I said, the eighth time being here and just being a little bit more knowledgeable about how the whole weekend works and how to play this game and enjoy yourself in the process kind of fed into that.
Q. It takes a lot more than just being great to be a face of the league with everything that -- with the All-Star Weekend, with the game going globally and everything else. Is that something that matters to you, to be a face, to be an ambassador of the game?
STEPHEN CURRY: I would say face and ambassador are two different things. The way I approach it is it's a tremendous honor to know if you say something, do something, it moves the needle because of the way that you play the game and the doors that are open and the impact that you have. And I want to respect that with everything that I do and understand that there's an amazing opportunity with that, an amazing responsibility with that. I don't technically know how you would categorize it, but I know it's not just how you put the ball in the basket. It's everything else that comes with that.
Even tonight, it's kind of a cool reminder of that because you look at guys that have been in that situation on that 75 list in different eras, different generations, and they paved the way for the impact that basketball and the NBA can have and how each individual player can approach that. So I've got to do it my way and be authentic to what I do and know and believe and be consistent with it. I do respect the opportunity that comes with that.
Q. You tweeted before you came here that you're coming back to your birth state. You're leaving with a trophy, as you often do from here. Tell me about your weekend start to finish. How was the whole trip?
STEPHEN CURRY: It was cool. A lot better than last year in terms of feeling more like a normal All-Star Weekend. I got to enjoy a lot of different festivities. I heard a lot of boos, obviously, like we talked about earlier, and enjoyed that, and the game tonight and the ceremony and everything about this last four or five hours has been pretty remarkable in terms of just a memorable experience that I will take with me. It's pretty perfect, if you ask me.
Q. I wonder with your Warriors group, you guys got through these past couple of years. You start hot this year and just in pretty short order the title contention is real again. But you go into the second half, and you have to fight through not having Draymond. The Suns now have a challenge with CP being out. Philly is getting James. Brooklyn is getting Ben. Just your two cents on the landscape and for you individually just that idea of chasing another trophy.
STEPHEN CURRY: It's an exciting time to be an NBA fan, obviously. There's a lot of different narratives. You just listed off five or six right there, and you have got probably four or five other teams that have a realistic chance of contending. All we can do is control what we can control, and I feel like we've done a pretty good job of that so far. Like you said, we've had a lot of injuries, and we haven't been whole in a very long time. When Klay came back, Draymond was out the same night. Still waiting on the three of us to take the floor again.
But it's all kind of shaping up to try to peak at the right time. Hopefully Draymond is back quick. Still got Wise (James Wiseman) on the burner ready to make his appearance this year, and then figure out what our rotation is going to look like going into the best part of the year. But to be in that conversation, situation again after last two years that we've had, I'm pretty rejuvenated and excited to be back in that atmosphere.
Q. You are already pretty high on that list of 75, but is the appetite different to keep adding to it?
STEPHEN CURRY: Not any different than it's been the last two years. Like you say, you've been in five straight Finals and you have the two years that we've had. I miss playoff basketball. We were just talking about that in the locker room tonight. Everybody feels like coming out of All-Star Weekend, especially the guys that are here, things go right, they can win a championship, and you understand how hard it is to do that. So I miss that fight. It means as much as it ever has to try to accomplish that goal again.
Q. I know you were just talking about the history of the game, and I was interested in your hoodie, your sweatshirt. Who is on it, if it's custom made, how did it come together?
STEPHEN CURRY: Supporting. You've got Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper and Nat Clifton who were barrier breakers in the NBA, and it's actually kind of a unique sweatshirt. It's one of my guys, Lanny Smith, who created or had a relationship with the families and players and got the okay to represent them and speak about true Black history when it comes to the NBA. So no better time to represent and celebrate this type of history.
And then, obviously, like the 75 list, the all-time greats of the league, a lot of them were in the building tonight, and they all kind of blazed a trail of their own, so celebrating it all.
Q. That 75 NBA ceremony, did that turn you back into a young fan, and was there anybody there that really inspired you that you were able to get a chance to have a conversation with tonight?
STEPHEN CURRY: Everybody. It definitely took me back to just growing up watching the game. There was a moment we were out there, we didn't want to leave the stage. I don't know if anybody saw. I was just enjoying the moment. With me, D-Wade, CP, Bron, Giannis. Somebody else was over there. We were all kind of just acknowledging how we were like kids in a candy store laughing and just what was actually happening and what that accomplishment actually means, and you look around and see all-time greats that we looked up to coming up in the game. I couldn't stop smiling. I don't think I will for a while.
You see the names on the list, and you understand and appreciate when the announcement came out that you made the team and all that, but when you see them in person and you feel like the aura of what they were and are in terms of history of the game, it's just a whole different experience. That was special.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports