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May 26, 2022

Steph Curry

Golden State Warriors

Game 5: Postgame

Warriors 120, Mavericks 110

Q. Obviously there's another round to go here, but there's a lot of emotions after this one. Do you feel this is a completion of something, some sort of a conclusion of a way back?

STEPH CURRY: That's a little strong, but it is just a moment to reflect. I think Draymond just said, a moment to reflect on what it took to get back here. The fact me, Klay, Draymond, from 2015 to now, six out of eight years having a chance to compete for a championship. The feeling leaving 2019 Finals and realizing, like, we had been on an amazing journey, then got hit with a lot of adversity, some speed bumps, but never lost the faith we could get back here.

So it's a fine line. Again, just reflecting and celebrating this moment for sure because you can't take it for granted, nothing's ever guaranteed, we understand how hard it is to win. We've said that until we're blue in the face the last two years. This is definitely special. Proud of everybody that, you know, is in that locker room, that came with it all year. Now we have an opportunity to go finish a job.

Q. You obviously have a sense of NBA history with your dad. You're only the fourth franchise ever to make it to the Finals six times in eight years. What does that mean to you? Is it different at all? There was a lot of Super Team chatter. To get back with this version of the team, how does that sort of change the vibe, the way it feels?

STEPH CURRY: I don't know. Everybody says, even the ones -- championships that you win, what was your favorite, or like looking at every team that we were a part of that got to this stage. There are things that kind of jump out that are good memories, just amazing experiences that you went through.

This one is very sweet just because of where we were in 2019. Obviously Klay, KD going down during that Playoff run, being so close to winning three in a row. Again, the adversity that you hit over the last two years.

Like I said, we never lost the faith, but you understand how hard of a process it was going to be to climb the mountain again. And to do it with this team, with guys like Wiggs and J.P., Belly, Otto, GP, guys that are amazing at buying into their roles and understanding how they can help us win but hadn't been on this stage before. It's just amazing to see them blossom on this stage and find ways to impact winning, then realize how much fun it is.

I think internally we are all extremely proud of what it took to get back here. Yeah, it's definitely sweet based on what we went through.

Q. Jason Kidd called you the best conditioned athlete in the league at one point in this series. How important is that to your game? How difficult is that to maintain your conditioning?

STEPH CURRY: It's important because you try to be versatile and try to find different ways to put pressure on the defense whether I have the ball in my hands, whether I'm running off screens, always being a threat, just trying to wear the defense down, whoever is trying to check me for the majority of the game, just trying to wear them down a little bit. Understand over 48 I'm going to find some gravity that you can show on the floor, getting other guys shots, getting off yourself, all that type of stuff, then still have it on the defensive end to do my job.

It's hard in terms of the work that it takes all summer, every day throughout the year in terms of how you take care of your body. Even in year 13, I keep getting up there in years and miles, my body, it's just a matter of the consistent work.

But I love it. It's what I get paid to do. It's how I know I can be effective. So I keep doing it.

Q. Draymond talked about how difficult it is to win in the postseason and have the amount of success you have had. What does it take to make it to six NBA Finals?

STEPH CURRY: Just the DNA that you can't really teach in terms of everybody. I mean, the pieces fit first and foremost with our core, how we play, what we do. It makes us unique and different. But you have to have that competitive spirit and fire, the way we just find ways to win games, especially in the Playoffs when it matters the most.

It's built on years and years and years of experience. The chemistry that we've built, the fact that, I mean, I can't remember what the number was, but since the 2019 Finals, how many days it was that me, Klay, Draymond hadn't even played on the same court. Once we got healthy, we could pick up right where we left off and find a way to continue to get better through this Playoff run, peak at the right time. We talked about it at the beginning of the Denver series, like we had no clue really how it was going to shape out, but you can build off of the experience that we've had over the last 10-plus years.

It obviously showed, so that's a big part of it. Just relying on that experience and the memories of what it takes to win at this level.

Q. Klay is a different guy as he returns back to this Finals as a player and man. Draymond says he feels like he's the best he's been defensively because he's smarter, mental space he's in. As you're back in the Finals now, are you different in any way than the last time you were there?

STEPH CURRY: I mean, for sure. Life on and off the court. It's another sense of that comfort, what these experiences are like dealing with the adrenaline, the nerves.

Just being able to balance even just, like, family life. I'm blessed to have kids that are now in 9, 6 and 3, like when I was back in '14, '15, chasing those Playoffs, just a different vibe in terms of everything that's going on in life.

It puts it all into perspective, the fact of where we are in our career, we're still playing at this high of a level. Not thinking too far ahead, we want to get the job done in the Finals, but we still have a lot more in the tank.

It is a credit to all the work we've put in. But just the fact we've been together with Coach Kerr and the staff, the identity that we've built as a team, continuing to buy into it, and it's continued to pay off.

Q. Last April after your season ended you said, You don't want to see us next year. When you said that, that season had just ended, you didn't know exactly the group that was going to be coming into this season. What made you issue that warning, have that confidence this year you were going to be a problem for others?

STEPH CURRY: Just the way that we finished last year. That's that competitive spirit that we had something to build off of. We went 15-5 down the stretch, lost two tough games in the Play-In. Gave it everything we had.

It was more just a message for us. It wasn't for anybody else. It was a message for us to stay locked on the opportunity that was coming our way because we had built such a good momentum finishing the year, reestablish like what Warrior basketball was. If we could get things aligned, get some new pieces and figure out how to start off the year right, that's exactly what we did, 18-2 at one point and still have Klay coming when he was ready.

Obviously this year didn't go as planned, but I think the tone was set from those last 20 games last year that carried over and gave us so much confidence that we could be that team again.

You see the fruits of that labor these last five weeks.

Q. Since you guys started this run, there have been a lot of teams put together seemingly to beat you guys. A lot of movement around the league in terms of superstars. How --

STEPH CURRY: You're giving us too much credit right there. Nobody was worried about us after the last two years (laughter).

Q. How have you, Draymond and Klay been able to keep your goals aligned? How have you been able to weather that and be on the same page all these years?

STEPH CURRY: Again, just the trust that we all started from humble beginnings back in, what, 2011, '12, me and Klay, then Draymond, the first Denver series back in 2013, where we had no idea what the Playoffs were like. Just came out and just started hooping, building up that presence on this stage. Every year keep coming back, putting ourselves in that conversation. Then finally get across the finish line in 'the 15 Finals.

Again, all the pieces fit. Our personalities fit. So much trust in each other. But we are all just so competitive at the end of the day. That's carried us.

I think the ability to set the table for pretty much anybody that come in, be a part of the fold, find their way, elevate their game, take that next step wherever they are in their career. I think we pride ourselves on that more than what we do individually because you got a lot of examples of guys that have been elsewhere and come here and found success. To be able to do it on the biggest of stages, that's not easy to do.

To get to your question, a lot of pieces being moved around the league. It's always not a guarantee that it's going to work or that it's going to fit, it's going to pay off in terms of winning the games that matter.

We found a way to create the culture that it starts with us, but everybody else gets to eat, too. I guess that's the fun part.

Q. You talked about the first Playoff series you were in. How clear are your memories of those times? Is that a fuzzy time that seems like a lifetime ago or is it still very clear?

STEPH CURRY: It's still very clear. It's like kind of time stopped there where you kind of understand what real basketball is like in the Playoffs. We were pups at the time, but definitely great memories of playing in Oracle, the Warrior chants 25 minutes before a tip-off, the haze in the building, if you know what I mean.

To know where we've come from that year, everything that's happened since. I can pretty much drop myself into any series and know what it felt like because we rely on those experiences so much, so... That's what it's about.

Q. Is there any past experience that you felt was really similar to anything you're going through this year?

STEPH CURRY: I mean, yes and no. I think just playing on the stage and understanding like how composed you were this whole time because of all the series we've been in. Especially how we compete and play and win on the road. It's also different because it's a new cast of characters and you got to find new ways to get it done.

Yes and no.

Q. Last year there was probably a measure of maybe individual satisfaction for you getting back to that MVP level after the injury you had. How difficult is it to hold yourself to a championship mindset as opposed to just getting back, holding the franchise to that? Secondly, how does it feel to actually win a postseason MVP trophy?

STEPH CURRY: I mean, the first part, that's not hard. That's a daily standard that you hold yourself to. The fact that every day is about putting yourself in position to win, personal accolades and stats and all that comes with it. Again, the way that we all gel and play as a team, it all works because that's the only intentions.

There's nothing hard about maintaining that as a focus. That being the motivation for me. Yeah, the new trophy is pretty cool, especially with who it's named after, the standard that Magic set in terms of being a champion and playing the point guard position, whatever other position he played. Just the excellence that he demonstrated throughout his entire career.

Definitely special. I appreciate the way the teammates celebrated with me. Like I said, that acknowledgment, six out of eight, ability to play in another Finals, I mean, what else could you want? I'm excited about another opportunity to go get one.

Q. Did you want Draymond to hold up the trophy? What do you think that signifies that Draymond is the guy that gets the team trophy?

STEPH CURRY: First, it was so cool to see Shaun Livingston out there as the representative, knowing what he meant to our team over the course of that five-year run, him being a true champion. That was dope just to see him out there celebrating with us, presenting the trophy to the team.

Draymond is a true leader in the understanding of the life and spirit behind everything that we do. I don't think anything was choreographed about that moment. For him to be the first one to hold that up, let out that primal scream when he got it to acknowledge that we're back and we're here, it's pretty cool.

To see Klay get lost in his emotions of everything he's been through, hear from the crowd, that was an amazing moment. Everything about it was perfect.

Again, it's okay to celebrate this one and understand we still got work to do. It's pretty damn good.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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