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June 15, 2022

Draymond Green

Golden State Warriors

Practice Day

Q. In 2015 how prepared did you feel for the fatigue that comes with a long regular season or a deep playoff run? Is that something that you had to figure out over the years?

DRAYMOND GREEN: I don't think it's really something that you think about. You know, when you're in the midst of runs like this, you just kind of go with it. You don't allow yourself to think about fatigue or feel fatigue. You kind of feel that after the series is over. When you're in the midst of this, you don't have time to think about it. There's enough to think about within a series.

Q. In the playoffs it's very common to have your family with your, especially on the road. What is it like to be able to share this with your son? He's older now and can appreciate what's going on.

DRAYMOND GREEN: It's very important to not only share with my son but my two daughters, my wife, my mom, my friends. If you would have asked me this three years or five years ago in the midst of a five-year run, you think it's just normal and natural that you end up in this position. And then after the last two years, you just realize it's not guaranteed and anything can happen in the blink of an eye that changes everything.

So you just understand that you don't have these opportunities often. And when you do, you have to enjoy them, embrace them and share them with the people you love. This is the pinnacle of basketball. It doesn't get any bigger than the NBA Finals. Just to share these moments with my family, with my children, in particular -- they are 7, 5 and 1. You want the pictures. You hope that when they are 15 that they remember this. But just to have these moments in the pinnacle of our careers, it's hard to really put it into words, it's such an incredible thing.

Q. How fun has it been to grow up with Steph and Klay? Just the appreciation from them as well.

DRAYMOND GREEN: It's funny, we were sitting on the plane yesterday and we sat at the same table and Bob walked past us and he's like, man, y'all are funny, y'all still sit together. Y'all don't understand, it's ten years. Like this, does not happen. Guys still sitting together at the same table. He's like, gys not even on the same team for ten years, let alone still sitting there at the same table and enjoying each other's conversation and presence.

This journey wouldn't be the same without those two guys, and Andre, as well. Andre has been along the ride with us pretty much this entire time as well. I couldn't imagine sharing this journey with anyone else. You know, we built this thing from the ground up, and when you build something from the ground up, that's your baby, and I think for us, we all appreciate each other and we understand what each of us bring to the table. It stretches far past what we have accomplished on the basketball court. You're talking bonds, those bonds will last forever. We are linked and connected together forever.

So to know we've been on this journey for ten years, it's such a special thing. The ten-year anniversary if you will, to be in this position is great, and saying that, still one win away. So as special as it is, there's a way to cap this off, it's coming in with the right focus and intensity level tomorrow and being ready to try to close this thing out.

Q. You've mentioned point of attack defense. How important has that been?

DRAYMOND GREEN: It's very important. I think when your defense is good at the point of attack, it allows your help defense to be there. There is no one person that can stop Jayson Tatum, there is no one person that can stop Jaylen Brown. At times in this series there has been no one person that can stop Marcus Smart, but if you put up force at the point of attack you allow your help to respond wherever they need to be or to whatever it is they need to respond to and get in the right position to help them.

So I think that point of attack and not giving up straight line drives is important because it allows it to be a team defense as opposed to their one guy beating our one guy and getting the shot that they want.

Q. What's your perspective on Coach? You have the guy that took over for Mark Johnson, from the analyst booth straight to the court, the KD years, and then 15-50, getting in the mud, a different experience. How has he changed?

DRAYMOND GREEN: He's continued to grow. I think the number one change I've seen in Steve is his trust in his coaching staff, I think that's continued to grow. And not that he didn't always trust his coaching staff because he has and it's always been an open-door policy since the day he's walked in here, but on a day-to-day basis, you can just see how he's delegated. The way he uses Mike Brown, the way he uses Kenny Atkinson, the way he uses Deckie, the way he uses Jama and CD and Jacob Rubin, and it's so on down the line.

I think that is the growth and understanding, like, man, I am only as strong as this group that I have standing next to me, and the way that they built that group out, I think has been absolutely amazing. I think it's been a huge part to our run and I think one of my favorite things that he brings to the table, he's a guy that knows what he doesn't know. That's one of the best traits you can possess in this world, is being smart enough to know what you don't know and Steve is absolutely incredible at that. He leans on those guys for their strengths. I think that's huge.

And his confidence in knowing we'll figure this out and we'll go make some adjustments and we're going to put you in the best position that we can to be successful, and just never being rattled. There are times where we get a little rattled as a team and he's just right there, steady force, like hey, man, just calm down, settle down. And it wasn't always like that. It wasn't always where you never, ever see him rattled. He's just in these moments, that gives us so much confidence, when you walk in the huddle and when you walk in to a team meeting and when you walk on the bus and he's just carrying himself with the confidence that he has, you feel invincible. That's a huge thing in our growth.

That's an area that Steve has really grown, is you have coaches that gives players confidence and you have coaches that don't, and I think he has really grown in that area where he just gives guys confidence and that's huge.

Q. You've been in so many high-profile championship series against all-time players like LeBron over the years. Where would you say this series ranks in terms of the mental challenge of having to anticipate three steps down the road what Boston is going to do and trying to attack them three steps down the road?

DRAYMOND GREEN: Well, it doesn't compare to mentally playing against LeBron James, who I think is arguably the smartest guy to ever play this game. Not one of, he is arguably the smartest guy to set foot on a basketball court. To say that it compares to that, it's disrespectful to LeBron and it's a lie to you.

Now in saying that, it is a challenge mentally because these guys are super athletic. They are super young and fast and strong, and all the things that we know and have heard throughout the course of this series. They are those things. And then obviously they are super talented, and so when you are facing that, you have to try to out-think a guy. If a guy is faster than me, how can I beat him to a spot? I have to anticipate and I have to think. I have to try to understand what he's trying to get to. So I think that's been huge in this series from a mental standpoint and just trying to understand and be a step ahead of them.

But not as much of a chess match as it is when you're playing LeBron, who is dissecting every play in that computer of his, like in real time. Like that's just a skill that not many people possess. Not many people can come and sit here and find a random stretch from seven minutes to four minutes in the second quarter and give you every play like to the T and not miss a beat. There's not many people that can do that.

Now in saying that, they do have a guy over there in Marcus Smart who is extremely smart, who it's like a chess match going up against him. He is kind of the brain of that team. I think every team you kind of have that guy, that's the brain of that team, and they have that in Marcus Smart, a guy who I have a tremendous amount of respect for and his basketball IQ. So it's a challenge for sure. Ime is extremely smart. We know his pedigree.

So the challenge is there, but you can't put it up there against LeBron's. Like I said, he's probably the smartest guy we've ever seen play basketball.

Q. If you can think back to 2015, the first time you were on this stage, do you remember if you were appreciating the moments, taking those photos that you're now talking about at that time?

DRAYMOND GREEN: No. It's all a blur. You're kind of just living in the moment and going and you just go, just kind of go with the flow. My life in 2015 was totally different than it is now. I didn't essentially have my own family. You know, kids, wife. I was kind of a boy still, growing.

So my life is just in a totally different spot than it is now, so even the things that you appreciate, the things that I appreciate today, I didn't necessarily appreciate those things then. In 2015, I hated taking pictures and you know, I didn't really put two and two together, like man, these memories are so important. Like in 2015, I was still getting tired of pictures. Like oh man, there's always a camera here, there's a camera there, as opposed to embracing all these things.

I think it was a totally different space for me and totally different space for all of us. As you grow and realize those things, they aren't promised and you try not to take these things for granted and understand that you are probably closer to the end than you are the beginning. It's just a totally different appreciation that you have for these moments now as opposed to then.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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