June 1, 2022
Golden State Warriors
Q. Draymond was just in here, and one of the keys he said to what you guys have been able to do is that you don't let your egos get in the way of the main goal, which is trying to win games. And he said that you are the tone-setter in that regard. Given all the accolades you've had, how do you keep your ego from getting away from you?
STEPHEN CURRY: I remember where I started and just the whole journey. You remind yourself of that every day. The fact that from high school to your first All-Star Game, like it's a journey, and everything that had to go right in your life and on the court for that to happen. Never let myself get too big-headed on that front. That's how I live my life.
So everything about it in terms of the appreciation and gratitude for everything that happens, all the experiences that you have, everything that you go through, you keep building on that, and usually good things happen because you appreciate everything no matter what happens.
Q. In your mind, what separates this run to the Finals from the others?
STEPHEN CURRY: Just the context of the last four years. From Game 6 of the 2019 Finals to now, everything that we went through as a team. Certain guys individually with injuries. Obviously the pandemic that's happened over the last two and a half years.
Everything that we all went through with this as the ultimate goal of getting back on this stage, the chance to play for another championship. Klay coming off of unreal rehab journey. Broke my hand. Draymond was injured with a bunch of different stuff. We had a lot of young guys coming into the fold and trying to reclaim our chemistry as a core but also get those guys up to speed in how they can help us and help impact winning.
Then you know, you look up and all the work that you put in over the last two years has paid off, built on the experience and just the veteran presence that we have.
So all that stuff is just built into the context of what's happened since Game 6 of the 2019 Finals, and we're back here. So it's pretty special.
Q. Earlier in the year, Draymond shared his concerns that this two-track approach of veterans coming back and the young guys being brought along might not be the best shot of getting to this point again. Did you share that outlook, or were you on board throughout with the patience and perspective that the development part was asking?
STEPHEN CURRY: I think there's always questions and concerns in terms of when you have change and when you're presented with different routes to go. I shared similar sentiments with Draymond on like options of what could happen last offseason and what we could or shouldn't do. What's missed in his comments is the confidence in what our core is about and who we are and what we can do on the court when we are all together and healthy.
It's pretty impressive that it all has come together the way it has over the course of this season. I think there is even probably a surprise that we started out this season the way we did. I think we were 18-2 at one point. I don't think we even understood that it would kind of click that quickly. You ride that momentum, and that obviously carries you through some crazy ups and downs through the season with injuries and revolving door and the rotation and all that.
But it also speaks to -- I know that's the taboo word -- the culture of our organization. It speaks to who we are and what it takes to win at the highest level. And however the young guys can learn that and however they have learned that, it's been amazing to watch.
Q. The younger generation might only remember the Warriors dynasty, title contenders, but it wasn't always that way. What was your impression of the organization when they drafted you? What did you think and what did you know about Golden State? When you got here, what was going through your mind draft night when they took you?
STEPHEN CURRY: There was a lot in that question (laughing).
What did I think about the organization? I didn't think much about it. I was growing up on the East Coast. So I mean, I watched games. But all I really knew is the "We Believe" team and the Baron Davis dunk and them beating Dallas. That was top of mind. I knew about Run TMC but didn't really understand the history as much.
When I got drafted, I thought I was going to New York, and didn't really have Golden State on the radar at all. And then there was a lot of drama my rookie year with the potential Phoenix trade at draft night and me and Monte as a small backcourt, can we play together, and obviously what his answer was at the time.
There's a lot going on in that sense. But to see the evolution from that year to now, and the fact that six out of the last eight years we've been in the Finals, it's crazy to think about for sure and speaks to all the different people who have had a part in that: myself, Draymond, Klay, Andre. All the vets that have played significant roles for us. Our front office, Joe and Peter.
It's been an amazing run. We obviously feel like we still have a lot left in the tank. That's why we're here.
I don't want to depress myself with the history of the organization right now (laughter). I'm going to think about the bright moments, so I appreciate it.
Q. These Celtics, obviously it's their first time at this level. Is there things from the first time you guys made the Finals that surprised you, things you felt you weren't prepared for that you look back on and think you wish you'd known about this level?
STEPHEN CURRY: I mean, I'm not going to give it away right now for them.
The biggest thing is days like today where your routine is a little different than it usually is in terms of your practice and your preparation and all that. There are obviously nerves and adrenaline and anxiety and nerves -- like everything in terms of the emotions of playing at this stage. That first game is sometimes all over the place because of that. And once you settle in, it does become about basketball, like it normally is.
I think some of those guys have had multiple Eastern Conference Finals appearances. It's similar, but it's obviously different when you're last two teams and you're four wins away from winning the championship.
Once you get those nerves out after the first game, you kind of settle in and it becomes a little bit more normal each time.
Q. Given the influx of injuries that Andre has had this season, how have you seen him handle both that reality as well as approach the mentorship role that he's had compared to the other years?
STEPHEN CURRY: He's the same Andre. He's just in a different capacity where he knows he can help us, since he's had a tough go with the injuries. If he's not available on the court, he's been amazing at just being a voice, a presence for the young guys, not just in the locker room, during practice, but obviously you've seen him up and demonstrative during games on the sidelines.
He's always been like that, but obviously when you're playing, you're a little bit more focused on what you have to do in between the lines. But he's also such a great guy and great leader that he's aware of if he's not out there, he can still have an impact, and it requires maybe a different level of energy and attentiveness. Because you're not just worried about yourself and what you're doing on the court. You're worried about everything else.
Q. Draymond just talked about what it feels like to sort of be an old head on the team, and he was saying that Kuminga, sometimes he feels likes he looks at him like he's 55 years old. Do you consider yourself an old head now, and what does that feel like or look like to you?
STEPHEN CURRY: At times. I try not to let my mind think about that too much because I don't want to feed into it. I want to feel like I'm still in my prime for as long as I can go out there and hoop the way I am.
It is weird thinking about the age range of guys playing on this team. You have 19-, 20-year-olds, 34, Draymond is 33, whatever it is, and you've got -- life is just different across the board. I was asking, what do y'all do when you go home? How are y'all spending the next six hours? My day is a little different.
You appreciate the ability to influence those guys at the time that they are in right now because that will set them up for success hopefully as they come into their own as vets in the league and find their way and become true professionals.
Some of that's straight one-to-one verbal, good conversations. Some of that's just showing it by example of how you show up to work every day. It is pretty cool to be the old head and be able to pass that wisdom off to the young guys.
Q. Following up on that stuff, throughout your other Finals runs, you, Draymond, Klay, were clearly leaders of this team, but you didn't have that generational gap between you and the rest of your teammates. Does the leadership responsibility feel different this season knowing that a lot of the guys underneath you are like 22, 19, haven't been on this stage before?
STEPHEN CURRY: Not so much that. Just more so because they are going to have an opportunity to play right away, and them playing, we rely so much on what they do out there on the court when they get their opportunity to help impact winning, because there is opportunity available.
So it's not so much anything other than just preparing them to be ready for their moment. You see a guy like Moses who has come in. He's had a great approach to everything from day one. You can still encourage him, point things out, answer his questions, stay on top of him. But it's amazing to see the result in just one short year of him coming into a playoff series in the middle of the Western Conference Finals and make an impact.
That's the stuff you'll probably look back on and be really proud of because there's a lot of instability around this league, and not everybody has the infrastructure and the presence to bring guys along like that.
Q. Q told me yesterday that he got the sense from you last summer that you believed you could be here, then. What was it that you saw or believed that made you feel like the team you had could be here?
STEPHEN CURRY: It's just a confidence in who we are, knowing Klay was coming back. But I got a lot of juice from that last 20 games last year. We had a crazy up-and-down year just trying to stay afloat, and then got to a point where we found our rotation. We finished 15-5, had those two tough losses in the Play-In Tournament, and you could feel like we were close. Like close to being in that conversation where you're a serious contender to come out of the West, whatever that means. You know, time will tell.
But I got a lot juice from that finish. Obviously I was playing well, figuring it out, building our chemistry and understanding, reforming the identity of who we are and how we play.
And then coming into this year, I still was surprised by our start, like I said, but that was the gas in the tank for the whole summer for the start of this year knowing that we were going to be a problem this year. And we got four more wins to make it all worth it, but it's a good feeling.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports