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Quotables from the return of Steph, Klay and Dray
[free article from postgame Wizards]
Below are partial transcripts that include what I call “quotables” (on our YouTube channel) from the postgame interviews after the Golden State Warriors’ win over the Washington Wizards with Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, including some of Draymond’s Q&A outside the interview room.
In the interests of time, the entirety of Steve Kerr’s interview has not been included. Obviously, there’s a lot of quotes pertaining to the three finally returning on the court together (after 1,005 days).
Below that are the full interviews. This is part of my workflow as it pertains to the YouTube channel content. I have left certain timestamps and notes, and probably typos from my own method of transcribing, so take it all with a grain of salt and if there are mistakes, please point them out in the comments and be mindful and respectful of the work I put into this as you point them out, thanks.
1:15, 3 • (Looks at boxscore pensively) Describe the vibe of you Steph Dray back on court: “It was magical … looking forward to these future games as well, because we’re going to rebuild our chemistry and just have fun while doing it. I appreciate every night we have with each other.”
• Draymond’s passing: “Gets us open shots, gets us in the rhythm of the offense and just gets us going. Gets the people going.”
• Draymond said he advised you to come off the bench in your comeback game: “…our situation was a little different. I had to wait a little longer so I was really eager to get out there.”
0:39 • What does combination of you Steph Poole give you? “A lot of spacing, a lot of playmaking between Jordan and Steph, and great shooting. Just so much firepower on the offensive end. JP is playing incredible and I’m just really proud of the way he’s gotten better every year. For such a young player to be as composed as he is, it’s a great sign for the future.”
0:58, 2 • Describe that lead pass from Draymond: “Just set a pin down for Steph or cut to the rim. Draymond’s an incredible passer and he really threaded the needle on that one. I haven’t felt that feeling in some years so it was really really nice to feel that again and I look forward to that for the rest of the season.”
• What makes Steph’s and Draymond’s two -man game so special? “I’d say Steph’s ability to score from anywhere and Draymond’s vision. They’ve been doing it for a decade-plus now and they’re just great at it.”
0:27 • Do you agree with Draymond saying you’ll win a championship? “Yes. I mean, yeah. I mean, I do. I’m too much of a competitor to sit up here and doubt our team or give another team the nod over us (shakes head). No chance.”
0:40 • What did you think about Wiseman in the G League? “I was so happy for Wise. We’ve been in the gym together for the whole past summer just trying to get back on the floor…love to see him out there playing with joy and playing with confidence, I’m incredibly proud of him for the way he’s handled his rehab and staying patient…it’s gonna come…”
0:56 • (Grimaces as he’s told to answer one question on Zoom) How confident are you about winning another title? “Well, I saw a stat that every playoff game we’ve started together, we haven’t lost a series so hopefully we’ll continue that trend in 2022 and I have confidence in this team to win a ring and us three know what it takes. So do the other guys on our roster and young guys are eager to learn what it takes and when we all have the same goal in mind, amazing can happen.”
2:12 • 512 games since you came off the bench: “It was great. It was fun. I’m not gonna give much in this interview. I’m just gonna let you all know that now. As someone who now works on your side odd things I understand the job and I’m all for the job which I will give quotes and I expand my answers. I make myself available. I understand how this thing works. We play, you write, you speak and it grows the game. And because of that, we are all one. I don’t know if people understand that or not, but my job don’t work without you all and your job don’t work without mine. That’s just how this goes. When we were shut down, we all were shut down. And so integrity is important. It’s beef important and when you assume shit and you try to put thing out there to cause controversy and to essentially make other people look bad, it’s ridiculous. We have children, we have family. I have a mother. I have a father. I have grandparents. And so when you do things you try to give your story an extra boost, just remember we work together and it’s not always like that. So as a man of my word, I’m not going to give much today. If anyone wants to talk to me outside of here, I’m all for it. But I’m not giving much today because I’m not sure that I can trust what my words are going to go from here. Because the integrity of this job is extremely important.
2:53, 3 • So who I do want to talk about is Rick Celebrini. He’s been lock-step with me the entire eleven weeks that I’ve missed. I felt incredible tonight and probably ninety percent of that is due to the things he had me doing. To him staying in my, to him having me do extra sets of this, extra sets of that, when I’m tired, pushing me. And so I’m very thankful for Rick because he’s been incredible. The relationship that we’ve built over the course of the last eleven weeks is one that will last for the rest of my life. We’ve had one terrible day where I was like an hour and fifteen minutes late. And he told me, man, my daughter’s gonna be late for her tennis lesson and that was kind of the worst day of rehab we had. I corrected that and he was there for me the entire way. So I’m very thankful for Rick and his expertise and him getting me back strong and ready to play.
Eleven weeks ago I could barely walk, couldn’t lift up on my toes. Four weeks ago I had the gimpiest run you’ve ever seen. It was disgusting. Two and a half weeks ago I couldn’t dunk a basketball. He stayed with me the entire way, got me back strong. So I’m very thankful for Rick and his family. I understand what the rehab process does to a family because it just pulls you away. You’re taking five or six hours, seven hours of rehabbing and just in here. And then I spent the rest of my time laying down on the couch because I couldn’t sit so I am extremely thankful for him and everything that he’s went through with me, his family and the sacrifices that they made with all the time that he spent with me. His All-Star Break Where he should’ve been with his family the whole time. He went with me and my family and spent the week with us. So I don’t take that for granted. It’s the people behind the scenes that nobody sees that deserves all the credit and for me tonight and moving forward, it’s Rick. Just the place he got back for me.
So if anybody else has any questions I’ll gladly answer them (outside), but I’m not gonna answer the rest right here.
• Getting back into a rhythm: “…I get a rhythm from passing. I’ve always found a rhythm from passing…some guys get to the free throw line to find their rhythm…once I was able to get to the first assist soon as I caught the ball, the game immediately settled down.”
• What do you like about the Steph Klay Poole lineup? “Extremely fun for me…if I catch and I swing-swing, it’s no wrong answer…When you look at most teams there’s usually a liability, so least one, on the defensive end and with those three guys out there we can exploit that liability.”
• On his importance: “I wouldn’t worry about a highlight of me. I think what it did was highlight some of the things that we needed to get better at. It put us in a place of adversity. If we rolled through this season like we were rolling through this season and we never faced adversity, what happens when you get to the playoffs. Everything happens for a reason. I am not sure we would have hit that bump in the road if I were still playing. Not that I am the savior, it just the continuity that we have and we understand that we know how to win. You can fall into the trap of knowing how to win. We have done that before and what the injury did was it allowed us to not fall into that trap. We realized that we went through a tough stretch, we knew what we needed to do to get out of it and it didn’t take me to be on the floor to get out of it. The last three wins before tonight were beautiful. I thought that was great for our team. There are so many guys that said the Warriors are back. There is a championship team. We told you that. There they are. This is a totally different team. I think that there are four guys on here with real playoff experience. It is not the same team. I thought that it was great that we got the opportunity to see, work on, and understand that it is not easy to win games in this league.”
2:12, 3 • First play after Draymond checked in: “…We have certain calls when he’s in the floor…we can do that in our sleep 🚨…our timing and everything was awesome tonight.”
• All seven threes when Draymond’s was on the court: “Just chemistry and understanding of how to create good looks especially when I’m off the ball…Ten years of that, so shouldn’t be that surprising.”
• Can it be surprising how open he can get you? “…he’s amazing at reading plays…knows how to sacrifice his body. He’s been doing it for a long time helping me and Klay get open for years. It’s a clinic…you can see how contagious the energy is 🚨…demoralizing for the defense with the amount of offensive weapons we have…especially for the young guys to understand that it’s gonna come back around…”
1:15, 2 • Ever had a season like this with so many emotional benchmarks? “A little bit of that is just getting old. 🚨…milestones…excitement for Klay to come back…Draymond going out…anticipation for him to get back. The question mark around Wise and his return…strive to be at our peak come April…thirteen games to get there…”
• Do you have enough time? “Absolutely.”
1:06 • Can you sense what Draymond’s presence did for him? “It ain’t what it did for him, it’s what it did for all of us. You could tell the energy picked up…+24 in 20 minutes for a reason 🚨…built on ten years of experience and chemistry…no matter how much time we have of you can get right back to it. It is crazy to think it’s the first time me and Draymond and Klay have been on the court in a very very long time…complement each other very well and there’s a lot of confidence in that.”
0:12 • (Almost leaves after a long pause) “I was about to go get some birthday shots or something.” 🚨
1:12, 2 • Did you not want to come off the floor with the 47 points? “You want to know the honest answer is the competitor in me was mad that I missed the shot before because I knew what time it was 🚨 so I had my one little heave to get it and I missed it…that conversation comes up where the game’s out of hand, Klay going for sixty in three quarters, fourteen three games that he had…where there’s a lot more time left and you could mess around with the basketball…it is what it is.”
• 47 points feel better on your birthday? “I don’t know but I had a good time out there…appreciation for what I get to do for another year on this Earth…just having fun, man. That’s what it’s all about.”
• The runs in the third and fourth: “A Lott of it is just being decisive in what we were trying to do and the way they were guarding us was totally different than against Milwaukee so I had a lot more space…make them pay for playing a little softer on the pick and rolls…and obviously you gotta make shots…new rotation, you can kinda get hot and kinda control the game…”
1:37 • How unselfish you were offensively: “That’s what we’re built on. There aren’t many times when we’re coming down just picking matchups or going iso. Everybody’s gonna touch the ball, everybody’s gonna be a threat…make the simple play…everybody gets to eat 🚨…keep making that a priority because it’s a fun way to play the game and everybody gets involved.”
• What Draymond’s presence does for the vibe: “It’s indispensable…leadership…demonstrative nature, his IQ in the court, to impact the game with some of the stat lines that he says. He only shots four times…unique…carving out his own lane 🚨 …vert head on both sides of the ball. You can’t really teach that. You kinda just feel it.”
1:33 • Everybody had more of a bounce, even in the building: “Very similar to Klay’s night…you want everybody out there healthy…rehab is horrible for anybody…can’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel so you definitely get juiced when guys come back…”
• Draymond’s return: “Been watching this for a long time. Plus 24 and 20 minutes. The game changed immediately when he got out there in a lot of different ways. It changed for Steph (Stephen Curry) right away as soon as Draymond got out there, I think he had an assist to him like five seconds in. The chessboard changes with Draymond out there with Steph. Everything looks and feels a little bit different and it's tougher to navigate defensively for our opponent. I haven't even mentioned his defense yet so, Draymond changes everything for us.”
• Steph 47 coinciding with Draymond return? “One hundred percent. We have a pretty unique group of stars. They really make each other better. They count on one another and they make each other better. They all sort of help one another, and they always have that's the beauty of our team. They play so well together. They know each other so well, and like I said they complement each other really well.”
• Rotations: “Yeah, I mean again with Draymond, as I said before the game, with the 20-minute limit, it's the only way to really do that without having him sit for a long stretch is to bring them off the bench and play in kind of the last five minutes of each quarter, which was our plan. We knew that that meant those last parts of the second and fourth, he and Steph and Klay would be out there together during those minutes.
• Steph Klay Dray: “It was great. I mean, it brought back a lot of memories and it's reminded me of everything that we've been through since Klay's injury back in ‘19. What the team's been through, what Klay’s been through or what Draymond has been through the last couple of months, so it's great to finally reach this point where knock on wood, the three of them are healthy and we've got a little momentum going we're in a good position, heading towards the postseason, so feels like things are coming together well.”
• Draymond outside the stat sheet: “You heard the crowd when he checked in. Draymond has been our heart and soul for a long time and he’s beloved here in The Bay, so the crowd was into it, but it's everything. He's one of the best screeners I've ever seen. He's kind of our point forward. He guards everybody on the floor and protects everyone else defensively. When he boxes out, his man ends up six feet out of the lane because he hits them pretty hard. There's a level of physicality that we gain as a team when Draymond's out there.”
• Draymond’s intangibles: “Yeah, he makes us a better team, makes me a better coach, makes our players better, makes Bob Myers a better GM and Joe Lacob a better owner.”