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May 13, 2022

Draymond Green

San Francisco, California, USA

Golden State Warriors

Game 6: Postgame

Golden State Warriors 110, Memphis Grizzlies 96

Q. Mike said that you were kind of the, I guess, addition point of putting Looney in the starting lineup. Why did you think that was the right move and can you talk about what he gave tonight?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I just thought we were getting physically dominated, and I know the worry was the offensive end and just how they were guarding. But we were getting dominated from the start.

Like when you look at the last eight quarters prior to this game, we got dominated for seven of them. In the fourth quarter of Game 4, we just pulled the game out because of Steph Curry's greatness.

And so we just knew we needed to come out and establish an inside presence to start the game off, and not worry so much about our scoring and like, you know, we'll figure out how to score the basketball. But we needed to establish an inside presence. Because they made it clear that's what they were trying to do. They made it clear they were going to beat us up, and they were doing a good job of it. And inserting Loon back into the line up changed that.

Q. Did you know Wiggins, that was going to happen tonight and what did you see from him?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I thought he would have a good game because the reality is he's been playing very well throughout this playoff run, and last game, it wasn't one of his best, and so you know, I knew that he would come out and he would have a big game. I mean, he was amazing on both sides of ball. Jones 2-for-12, Jones had been hurting us the last couple games and he took him out of the game, the way he rebounded the basketball, the way he protected the rim, he was absolutely incredible, so it wasn't shocking at all.

Q. As a close friend of Klay Thompson, what does it mean to you to see him out there throwing up to six, like back in his element after what he's been through?

DRAYMOND GREEN: It means everything. You know, we went on a two-year hiatus in the playoffs in a large part due to his absence and what he brings to the table. I know foremost people, that's three-point shooting. For us that's a competitive edge that no one else on this team has, and I know I get a lot of the credit for that side of things and just bringing the intensity.

But like I tell y'all all the time, one of the toughest guys and most competitive guys I've ever played with, and -- no; probably "the" toughest and most competitive player I've ever played with, and it showed up tonight. You knew right away he was coming out fire. 11-for-22, 8-for-14 from three, that's great, great to see. Eight rebounds, he's been rebounding all playoffs, three blocked shots. Like he's all over the place. It was a beautiful game.

Q. You said you needed a bigger presence inside and you guys had 70 rebounds. How do you think you performed?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I thought it was great. And like I said, in large part, in large part due to Loon.

But you look across the board: 11 rebounds, 15, 22, 8 and 7. I mean, it don't get much better than that. That's just your starting lineup alone. So it doesn't get much better than that.

You know, we needed to establish that inside -- I'm exhausted by the way. But we needed to establish that.

I told myself, for multiple days, that I was going to come in this press conference and talk about gritty and work ethic and everything else, and the only thing I can do is give think respect to that team. They earned that.

There was a lot of talk in this series of fouls and this and that and this should be reviewed and that should be reviewed and I think it really started to take away from what was a great, great series with two amazing teams.

And so you know, that team that's a group of young guys who obviously you get to the business side of things, and you've got to keep that together but that's a group of young guys that are hungry, they are talented, they are athletic. They got it. You know, it will good to see their progression over these next few years and where they can take it because that's an incredible young team. You know, they can be special. They can be really special.

Q. You had 14, 15 and 8. I know you're not a numbers guy. But you brought the afterburners from the jump. How important was it for you to bring that energy from the jump, and how much that have was a response to game 5 and not wanting a Game 7?

DRAYMOND GREEN: Did not want to get back on a plane. That's an underrated thing in this series which is a four-and-a-half-hour flight which is brutal. I just didn't want to get back on a plane. It was less about playing in Memphis and more about getting on a four-and-a-half-hour flight. I just didn't want to get on.

And then, you know, something came to my phone earlier, like saying I'm scared to shoot the basketball. "Scared" and me in the same sentence and like, brutal, you know. But you got the big ogre on TV talking about "what Draymond said ain't the gospel." It is the gospel; what I say is the gospel.

And when you say that multiple times, like on several different segments, you must think what I say the gospel. You know, you've got to come out and shut some guys up sometimes. I like to show when you got people out there just talking the side of their neck; anybody can make the pass Draymond make. That's just stupid.

I mean, these are people who get employed to talk on TV about our game. And you know, it's -- "anybody could make that that pass." You make that pass. Would love to see it. I played against the guy by the way. I'm talking about Kendrick Perkins, for those of y'all that who don't know. I'm never ducking no smoke, as the Memphis Grizzly towels says, I don't duck no smoke.

"Anybody could make that pass."

Like you couldn't. So, good luck. So, you know, you've just got to come out and shut people up sometimes. It was very fun to do.

Q. Kevon finished with 22 rebounds and a career-high in minutes, looked exhausted at times but getting huge rebounds. What can you say about his performance tonight?

DRAYMOND GREEN: It was absolutely incredible. We always talk about Loon being the ultimate true professional and this series went away from him. Last series, too. Yet he stayed ready. I give a lot of credit to our coaching staff for trusting in us. We have had countless conversations with Steve and Mike and our entire staff, and really trying to figure this out. This was not an easy series. When Ja went down we realized after last game we have to almost adjust as if we are starting an entirely different series, because that was a totally different team we played against the last, what, three games -- two games, three games.

It's a totally different team. And so I mean, Kevon, he's been one of those guys that has been a mainstay in everything that we do and no matter at what -- any point in his career when his number has been called, he's been ready and he delivered tonight in a major way. We knew we couldn't do it without him, which is -- which is why we were lobbying for him to get back into the starting lineup, and he came through.

Q. What's it mean it be back in the Western Conference Finals?

DRAYMOND GREEN: You know, I used to take it for granted and just think that like that's the way it's supposed to be. Like we're supposed to make the Western Conference Finals.

The reality is, I still think that but I have a much deeper appreciation for it. It's so hard. Feels like each time it gets tougher and tougher and tougher. And to miss the playoffs the last two years, like I remember sitting in Cabo last year watching the playoffs and don't get me wrong, I love Cabo it, was great to be in that place watching the playoffs, but it was brutal watching.

And you know, to make it back here and after the last two years that we've had and the dynasty-over talk, all that nonsense, this one feels good. But in saying that, we know how tough you have the next round is going to be. It gets tougher as you go. But you know, you accept that challenge and we are looking forward to it. But it feels good to be back after -- you go two years of the type of basketball we were playing, and you're not so certain that you're going to get back, you know.

But to put it all together is really good to be back.

Q. What jumped out to you in the atmosphere?

DRAYMOND GREEN: Say that one more time, I'm sorry. D.J. just told me, "You're not scared to shoot the basketball."

Q. What jumped out to you in the atmosphere?

DRAYMOND GREEN: It definitely was the loudest. I think these fans knew what we were up against. We're going at Memphis and getting Whoop That Trick. I appreciated the Memphis crowd. They were great and brought it and made it a very fun place to play.

But tonight, our fans, they brought it from the very beginning of the game. I have some friends, Xander, was texting me. He's like, "Hey, man, get the win. I'll be right behind the bench." But the place is going to be loud, man, I'm telling you, and to come out and it was the loudest I've ever heard it. I mean, it's special.

We've all talked about the home-court advantage and how this isn't Oracle and you have to reestablish that home court, and I think we are doing a good job of it. But our fans were absolutely incredible tonight. It took everything we had to win that game, and including, including the fan support and the noise that was in the arena.

Q. Assuming this is Mike's last game in this stretch replacing Steve, how do you feel about the job he's done under the circumstances and what are your hopes for him after this?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I think he's done an incredible job, and dating back to 2018, 2017, when that happened, he just got thrust into the iron. It's like, oh, man, Coach is here. And then Coach can't to go. Mike got to sub in.

He was incredible then. And to find out right before Game 4, that you're going to be leading this team; he's handled it well. I give Mike a lot of credit. He's been the solidest guy we've had in this organization over the past six years, and it's shown. It's shown for us across the board all the time. But when he's had to step up to the challenge and take over the reins, it's shown as well. One of the more prepared coaches I've ever been around and he embraces the challenge. Like you said, if this is his last time coaching us, from that standpoint, you want to do it the right way. Make sure -- he's one of our guys. Make sure he roll on to Sacramento and good and confident and go turn that thing around. Because ultimately, it's one of our guys and want to see him do well and to help jump start that, that's always the hope.

Q. Steph looked like he was struggling throughout most of this game. Did you expect a fourth quarter turn-up and what did you see from his game?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I'm not so much thinking like man he's going to turn up in the fourth quarter. You're just like, you know, he'll get going.

You know, sure enough, he did. Down the stretch we went to one play pretty much the whole entire fourth quarter and he took the game over. You know, that's our guy. That's why he is who he is. It's only a matter of time. I think some of the shots he was missing in the first half were great looks. And so you let a guy get some open looks and you miss them, at some point they are going to tart going down. He knew exactly what he wanted to get to. He knew the match-up that he wanted. He put us all in position and dominated the quarter and that's why we are sitting here moving on to the Western Conference Finals.

Q. There was two times late in the fourth quarters where the fans started chanting Whoop That Trick. What was that like after Game 5?

DRAYMOND GREEN: It was good to see the fans embrace that. You enjoy that because like I said, no one knows how it feels to go into an opposing arena and everybody is at your neck. To see our fans embrace it and give them a little taste of their own medicine, it was good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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