June 9, 2022
Q. Finally after 141 games in the playoffs, the dream comes true and you're here in the Finals. How are you living this moment? Are you getting to take it all in and enjoying, or the responsibility is too much and kicking in?
AL HORFORD: Yes, you know, very grateful for God putting me in this position. Really excited about it. And there's a balance of, you know, being able to take it, take the moment, but also enjoy it, then understand that there's a job at hand.
Very aware of where I'm at, what we're doing. But at the same time focusing on the job.
Q. There were points last night where it seemed like the Warriorsâ€™ shooters wanted no part of Robert Williams. They would see him nearby and the ball would move. Normally that strikes me as the kind of thing where rim protectors, seven-footers, those type of guys can elicit that. What is it about Robert that at 6-8 he gets that reaction? When he forces those extra passes, what does it mean for the other defenders on the floor?
AL HORFORD: Yeah, Robert changes everything. It's great to see him being able to play and show some of the things that he can do, how he can impact the game.
Just his presence, people in the league, everybody, we all know each other. The way that it is is with him, he can affect shots. He's capable of blocking jump shots, people are coming in the lane, they have to think about it just because he's around there.
Even on the perimeter he's doing a good job getting out there and contesting. For me, I'm enjoying being able to watch him play and have some success.
I know he's obviously playing through a lot of stuff, and I'm just very happy to see him succeed right now.
Q. For you on the play at the end where there was the scrum, diving for the ball, can you describe what you saw in that. At the same time, when things started to get a little bit physical, emotions are getting high, how do you contain yourself to keep things from bubbling over knowing that the stakes are high?
AL HORFORD: Yeah, no, I just saw the loose ball. I just tried to make a play.
Yeah, I understand the type of moment and us continuing just to play the right way, play to win.
Q. Coming back to the team after two years away, in terms of Jayson and Jaylen, how they interact off the court, have you seen anything different?
AL HORFORD: I think the biggest thing is an understanding with one another and with our team, what we're trying to do. Both of those guys are very competitive. It's great to be able to get some individual accolades and things like that, but I think those guys understand and get what it's about. It's about the team. It's about us figuring it out, making it work.
What I've seen from them, to your question, is just an understanding of what's expected, what they need to do. There's been a lot of growth in that part.
AL HORFORD: Well, I just think that we were all finding our ways pretty early on. They were both trying to figure it out in this league, how to play, how to be. They were still good, but they were still young. I don't feel like they -- you know, they fully didn't understand everything, and I feel like this year it has come together for us.
Q. Ime had talked about after Game 2 the struggles offensively. A lot of it was about spacing, the difficulty of finding a way to unclench the offense. Much better effort last night. What goes into trying how to figure out how to unclench that between games? What did you see that was successful in that regard last night?
AL HORFORD: Yeah, I was encouraged by our guys being able to stay poised. We all were able to get to our spots that we needed to.
Time and time again Marcus, Jaylen, Jayson were making plays and put in positions to make plays. We feel like that's what gives us the best chance, when we're organized and we're playing how Coach wants us to play.
Q. I've enjoyed when you talk about your family, how much they've enjoyed this journey to your first NBA Finals. Your brother Jon, his aspirations in his career. What do you think of that? I know he's coming to this game. What do you think of what his aspirations are in politics?
AL HORFORD: Yeah, I think it's great. My brother is someone that's caring. He cares for the community. He wants to have an impact in a positive way.
For me, I'm just really glad that he's taking this step. It's a lot of work. He's found that it's a lot of work, that line. I could never do anything like that. But he's very committed to it. He wants to make a difference in this world.
In my family, we're excited to watch him as he grows in this path that he has chosen.
Q. You guys have been very good, obviously, at responding after losses, especially on the road. Right now at home you have a chance of really building an advantage. That's a situation you haven't always responded well to. What do you have to do to get over that kind of a hump?
AL HORFORD: Yeah, that's a fair question.
For us, we have to be able to have that focus to really focus in on the game, understand that just because we're at home doesn't mean anything. I feel like in the past we felt like, Oh, we're home, we'll be fine, type thing.
Our focus level needs to be very high in understanding that it's going to be a hard game. So that has to be the mindset going in.
I believe that that's the type of effort that we're going to get from our group tomorrow: very focused and determined group.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports