May 26, 2022
Golden State Warriors
Game 5: Postgame
Warriors 120, Mavericks 110
Q. Draymond, what are your emotions knowing you, Steph and Klay have done it again after all that you've been through?
DRAYMOND GREEN: It's great. I mean, you feel great about it. After being counted out, dynasty is over, all of those things. To get back here, it's fantastic. It's a testament to the hard work and dedication and to an incredible organization. We continue to stick with it, show what we're capable of.
This one feels great. But got four more wins to get.
Q. I know you're always confident in what this team can do. When did you know after the two years that you guys went through that this team could get back?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Well, I've always said all along no one has proven they can beat us yet when we're whole. That's still the case.
Never doubt what we're capable of. As we saw the year going on, you can kind of see like, Man, this team is capable of putting a great run together. We've continued to get better, continued to grow, different guys stepping up each night.
We saw throughout the year how much Jordan Poole improved, how much Loon improved, and the list goes on and on.
I can't say that I thought coming into this season like, Yo, we're going to win a championship or we're going to be in the NBA Finals. But I always believed with us three that we have a chance.
Q. You said when you're whole, no one has proven they can beat you. Did you ever doubt or question or wonder if you would be whole again?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Definitely. I mean, you go through one injury. All right, cool, we'll get our guy back. We'll pick up where we left off. Then you go through another one. When I say you go through another one, I mean, Klay. Then there it is, it's two years off. You realize how fragile it is.
You look at the Denver Nuggets, for instance. A team that feels like they're in the middle or starting building a championship team, then Jamal Murray goes down. That's two years.
You just really realize how fragile it can be. You just have to take advantage of the moments that you have. When you are healthy and whole, that's all you can really do.
Q. You've all had unique and tough journeys over the past two years, Klay especially. To see him get back to this point, what is the pride that you feel for him?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I mean, it's incredible. That's a very resilient guy. I mean, he comes out tonight aggressive, 32 points. Klay is a dog. I've said it over and over again. He's going to fight, he's going to battle no matter what. Most important thing to him is always to win it.
To take the floor like that with a guy every night, you can see how much he was missing over the last couple of years. To have him back, still not 100 percent back to the Klay Thompson that we know, but working his way there, it's very special.
We're lucky to have him next to us competing with us because we know, like I said, we know what we're capable of when he is there.
Q. You talked about the evolution of this team this season, how that changed your thoughts on what you could accomplish. At the very end of last season Steph said, You don't want to see us next year. At the start of the season you said, You don't want to see us back in the Finals.
DRAYMOND GREEN: I said don't let us win a [expletive] championship.
Q. Now you're heading back to another Finals with a chance to win a championship. When you said that, were you thinking about the potential of the makeup of this team?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I mean, absolutely. Like I've said over and over again, I'm going to keep saying it: no one has proven that they can move us off that spot. That's the mindset we come into this thing with. We understand what it takes to win a championship. We understand the process, how you have to get better throughout the course of the season.
It's not just about winning games throughout the regular season. You know, anybody can just win games throughout the regular season. Teams make mistakes. Most teams in the NBA just aren't that good. You can win games in the regular season. That means nothing. We understand that.
We don't chase wins during the regular season. We chase improvement during the regular season. I think we've done that. When you do that, you're constantly improving throughout the year, you give yourself an opportunity to be in the position that we're in now. That is the key to having success in the post-season, is just improving each and every day throughout the year.
Q. How do you implement that way of thinking to younger players? Is it hard to tell them, We're going through it right now in the regular season, it's really up and down, but in the big picture that's okay?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I think that comes from the experience that some of us do have, making sure we're relaying that to our guys, trying to help them understand that.
I think for us personally you show that and say that with your words, but you also show that with how you carry yourself, what you're giving guys to follow. You know, if you lead guys the wrong way, they're going to follow you right that way. If you lead them the right way, they're going to follow you that way. If you approach this thing with confidence, they're going to approach it with confidence.
I think for us, that's been extremely important, just understanding that who we are, what we're capable of, but also understanding the challenge. We have a bunch of young guys. How do we help prepare them for those moments so that when we need them, their number is called, they're ready? Moses Moody and the list goes on and on.
It's a mixture of leading guys with your words and teaching and showing them the way, then also your actions, just giving them something, an example to follow.
Q. What did it mean for you to see Klay overcome by emotion on the podium needing to cut his interview short?
DRAYMOND GREEN: You mean out there on the court?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I mean, I think we all feel that. That's pain. That's joy. It's a mixture of things. For us to see what he went through each and every day, that's just a different feeling.
We saw the dark days. We saw the days of him coming in and you realize he just don't have it today. You see him for a week straight, and he's down, but yet continuing to plug away at it, just going and going and going. We saw that process.
To see him have that moment, it's special because ultimately we know where it's coming from. It's coming from the struggle. It's a beautiful thing.
Q. The first time you guys made it to the Finals, you were a much younger man. This is a much younger team. You were 25. How are your emotions different now? Is it sweeter given your personal role?
DRAYMOND GREEN: I think every journey is different. You appreciate each and every one of them. I think for me this time around, you just have a deeper appreciation for it and understanding that it's not promised. Things can change in the blink of an eye, so you have to take advantage of the opportunity when you are here.
It's not that this one means any more than the ones before because ultimately that's all a part of it, that's all a part of our journey. But in saying that, I think as you grow, you just realize how special it is. Most importantly how it's just not promised.
You have to do what you can to put yourself in this position. We've continued to do that.
Q. When the special presenter was handing over the trophy, it was you who took it. What did it mean to you? Was it set up that you would get the trophy?
DRAYMOND GREEN: Yeah, I mean, I'm not really one that loves holding the trophy. Number one, it's heavy (smiling). But you always appreciate the journey more than the accomplishment. It's like I appreciated how hard it was going through the moment. Once you get the trophy, it's like, All right, that was cool, this thing is cool, but it quickly just takes me back to the journey to get there.
I think every opportunity I've had to get the trophy, I pass it off quickly because it's just -- like it's great, it's cool, but what's even better is the journey to get there of coming in on the days that you just don't feel like being here, battling with the guys in that locker room. Just have far more appreciation for the journey than the trophy you get at the end of it.
I can't even go to rings. I'm not sure when the last time I seen my rings. Ultimately you just appreciate the journey way more than the accomplishment itself.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports