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June 16, 2022

Steve Kerr

Golden State Warriors

Game 6: Postgame

Golden State Warriors 103, Boston Celtics 90

STEVE KERR: First, I want to say congrats to the Celtics on a great series. They were incredible. Their defensive athleticism, length, toughness, was really tough to overcome, and they had us on the ropes in this series, and a tremendous season.

You know, since I've been here, we've lost in the Finals twice, and it's devastating, you know, to get this far and to come up short, and I've got a lot of friends across that hall, you know, between Ime and Will Hardy, Damon Stoudamire, Aaron Miles, a bunch of really good friends and guys I've coached in FIBA, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Derrick White, great, great, group of guys.

So I genuinely feel for them because I know what it's like to lose at this point, but they had an amazing run and it was a great, great series.

I forget your question now.

Q. What separates this championship from others?

STEVE KERR: Well, they are all unique, they are all special. I think this one may have been the most unlikely just from the standpoint of where we've been the last couple years. A lot of unknowns, the injury to Klay, Draymond at the end of the year, Steph at the end of the year. A lot of young guys, a new core, or a new group around our core, I should say.

But it's really special to see guys like Wiggs and Loon and Gary Payton, just how far they have come, the impact they made, Jordan Poole, the same thing. I know I'm going to forget people but it takes a full team effort to do this, and we just had a great group who do get it done.

Q. You've been around greatness a ton in your career. What do you make of Steph, and does he still kind of put you into awe the way he did the first year you were with him?

STEVE KERR: He does, because what he does at his size is so different from the traditional greats in this league.

I've said it so many times, Steph reminds me so much of Tim Duncan. Totally different players. But from a humanity standpoint, talent standpoint, humility, confidence, this wonderful combination that just makes everybody want to win for him.

And I'm obviously thrilled for everyone in that room, and a lot of people had a big hand in this, but I think the thing with Steph is, you know, without him, none of this happens. That's not taking anything away from Joe and Peter's ownership, because they have built an incredible organization. Bob Myers, hell of a GM. Our players, we have had so many great players, but Steph ultimately is why this run has happened. Much like Timmy in San Antonio.

So I'm happy for everybody, but I'm thrilled for Steph. To me this is his crowning achievement in what's already been an incredible career.

Q. On the broadcast, Jeff van Gundy, he meant this as a compliment, but he said this is the least talented group you've won a championship with. How do you think you guys managed to reach this height again, with, if you agree with that premise, a less talented group and against a tough defense in Boston? What shone through?

STEVE KERR: I think that comment is all relative. I mean, we had Kevin Durant for three years with this core group. Those teams were untouchable. This team has been compared to our first championship team in 2015. Maybe there are some similarities. This is still a really talented group of players. Not taking anything away from Jeff's comment, but he's speaking relatively. Our defense was spectacular in this series, especially the last three games; and the Celtics had the best defense in the league, but we were right behind them.

I think what made this group really special is besides the obvious with Steph was the defensive intensity and versatility, and for that, Draymond is the guy to point to, the leader of it all, but the additions of Wiggs, Gary Payton, the return of Klay, the emergence of Loon, it all factored in.

I've been really lucky to be a part of all of these in my career, and I have yet to see a team that wasn't elite defensively win a championship. So to me, that's what got this team over the hump is in the playoffs was our defense.

Q. Klay was not in any rush to leave the stage and he seemed to relish the moment. Can you talk about that and everything he overcame to become a champion again?

STEVE KERR: Yeah, the anguish that Klay has felt over the last three years, I don't know that -- people can guess as to what it is like, but we saw it up close. And, you know, between a second year-long injury and losing what he loves to do most in life, you know, playing the game, it's been a rough go for him.

So his return was special for us on and off the floor because of what he's meant to the organization, what he's done for this team, and then of course his play. I mean, his two-way ability is up at the top of the league.

So we're thrilled for Klay.

Q. You talked about this being the crowning achievement for Steph. Having been around Jordan and Duncan, what does a Finals MVP do for that caliber of superstar, and was that maybe the only thing he was missing?

STEVE KERR: No, he's missing an Olympic Gold Medal [laughter], and I think he really has to focus on being on the 2024 Olympic Team. That's the last thing for his career. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Honestly, the whole Finals MVP thing, it's like, I mean, are we really -- I guess his career has been so impeccable, and that's the only thing we can actually find. So it's great to check that box for him. But it's been really hard for me to think that that's actually been held against him. Anyway, here he comes. Talk to him.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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