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Game Quotes: Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors - June 16

NBA Finals, Game 6: Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors - June 16, 2015
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Cavaliers Head Coach David Blatt

Would you mind if I started with something? Excuse me. First of all, I would like to congratulate Steve Kerr and his staff for the outstanding job they did this season. I want to congratulate the Golden State Warriors, their players, and their organization. They had a fabulous season. They handled themselves with class. They played great basketball. And they won the NBA Championship, and certainly they're a deserving group. I also want to thank my staff for all the great work that they did this season. It would be hard for me to be sitting here if it weren't for the group of guys that I work with. I want to thank the players of the Cavaliers team that gave so much and never quit, never made excuses, never gave up, and gave the best possible season that they could. This is a process. You don't wake up one morning and fall out of bed and expect to win the NBA Championship. You hope that you can, but it doesn't always work that way, and our guys did more than anyone could expect to put themselves and put our organization in this situation. I want to thank the Cavs organization for everything that they did to give us the opportunity to be as competitive as we've been and to be as successful as we've been. They held back on nothing in order to give us all of the chances to be the best team that we could be. And I thought our group answered that by carrying themselves in a great way, playing great basketball, and representing the Cavaliers, the city of Cleveland, northeast Ohio in the best possible way. I'm proud of everybody in our organization today. It's tough, tough to lose. It's tougher to be over. Not every story has a happy ending. It doesn't mean it's a bad story. This was not. This was a good story. And I'm appreciative to everyone that was part of this.

Q. You were so shorthanded in this series against such a deep team. Can you just talk a little bit about how that depth probably did you guys in in four quarters and throughout the entire series, and how tough it was not having Kyrie and Kevin Love?

COACH BLATT: Well, I mean, obviously we would have loved to have come into the series as a whole team. I feel badly for Kevin and for Kyrie because they did so much during the course of the season to help us get here. We're not here without either one of those guys, and obviously having had them in this series would have been it would have been significant. But we never asked for sympathy when they went down. We never made an excuse, and I certainly won't do that now. We played our hearts out. The Warriors were better. Those guys will get healthy, and we'll come back after it next season.

Q. When you were first hired, not many people in the world thought that LeBron James would come back to the Cavs, and then all of a sudden he's dropped into your lap. Can you tell us a little bit what this year's been like coaching him? And now that you're going to have a full off season with him, what do you think about the future now that you've had this year of experience with him?

COACH BLATT: Well, I think that what's evident to everyone is what a spectacular basketball player that LeBron is. But he has become a great leader of his team. He's become a guy that has evolved in terms of his role within the team and within the whole concept of what it is that we want to be about. It was a challenging but oh so rewarding and beneficial chance that I was given to work with the best player in the world, and he competed for us. He led the team, and he made every attempt to make this work. And I give him a lot of credit for that. It would have been easy to do otherwise, but he did not. He was a great, great he was of great assistance to me in many, many ways. And it's an honor to coach him. He should be proud of what he did this year. I thought he had one of the best seasons of his career, and I'm glad that I could be one of the guys that helped him do that.

Q. You overcame a lot of challenges in the past in Europe and Israel specifically. Was it the most difficult season you had as a basketball coach? And second thing, if I may, you talked a lot about a process. I know it's 30 minutes after the end of the season, but what are your expectations from you and from this team for the future?

COACH BLATT: Yeah, every season has its own set of challenges and its own life. It's very hard to compare one season with the next. I will say this, I was challenged to make the adjustment to a different kind of game, almost to a different world, the world of the NBA, which is unlike any other situation that I've been involved in. I got great help from my assistants, from the players that I coached, certainly from the management that I worked with. And, sure, it was tough. It was like stepping into a new world and having to learn and make your way every single day. But I was blessed with a lot of great players and a lot of opportunity to find my way. And we were in the NBA Finals, two games away from winning it. I think we did pretty well.

Q. When the Warriors now that you're out of it, when the Warriors went small with Iguodala in Game 4, how difficult or how challenging was that for you and your coaching staff to kind of weigh the pros and cons whether to stay big or to match small? What was that process like for you guys?

COACH BLATT: Certainly that was a critical and determining factor in this series. There is no way around it. I do think, on the other hand, that a lot of what happened to us can be attributed to even more basic things. We shot the heck out of the three point shot this year. I don't know what our percentage I haven't looked yet was from three for the series, but I think it was very, very low. We never seemed to play the kind of game, after Game 3, that we had to make us successful in the first three games. We sort of lost the pace battle and the game speeded up to a point where I thought it affected us adversely. And certainly part of that is the smaller lineup. As was mentioned before, their depth over time did have its impact. In another situation, that may not have been the case, but that was the situation here. So I really think those were the determining factors.

Q. Coach, I know you went to hack a Iggy late in the game. Did you ever think about going earlier in the ballgame knowing that when Iggy comes off the floor, now you're not the main defender on LeBron James?

COACH BLATT: Earlier in the game we were pretty much in it. We seemed to be doing well. You know, I hate that tactic, Dennis, I really do. And I'm waiting for the NBA to do something about it this summer. Not because I or someone else doesn't want to use it. I just think it's the right thing for the game. And I offer my assistance if they want to hear my ideas, but that's not for now. But we did use it in the last game, obviously, to some benefit. It just didn't seem to come about this game later in the game like it did where we could have done it earlier, but we were playing better and we were doing okay. That's the best I can do for you on that.

LeBron James

Q. LeBron, how would you characterize this season overall for the whole organization?

LEBRON JAMES: Well, I mean, we had many chapters. We had many chapters in the season. I don't know. I mean, for me, it's never a success if you go out losing. But I think we put ourselves back where this franchise needs to be, being a contender. But we've still got a lot of work to do.

Q. LeBron, you guys stated throughout these playoffs next man up, no excuses. But now that it's over, how devastating of a blow was it to lose Kevin early in the playoffs, and then Kyrie in these Finals?

LEBRON JAMES: Well, I think you even go before that, losing Andy, one of our heartbeats of our team, another playmaker for our team. Then you lose Kev, an All Star, and then you lose Kyrie, another All Star. Tried as much as we could to try to make up for those guys, but it's a lot of talent sitting in suits. I've had a lot of playoff runs, been on both ends, and I know one thing that you've got to have during the playoff run, you've got to be healthy. You've got to be healthy. You've got to be playing great at the right time. You've got to have a little luck. And we were playing great, but we had no luck and we weren't healthy.

Q. There's all kinds of basketball stuff we could discuss. But this marks the end of year one in your return to Cleveland. Off the court, coming back home to friends, fans, family, has it been everything that you thought it would be when you made the decision to return?

LEBRON JAMES: My family is happy. That makes my job a lot easier. For the fans, I go out and try to just leave it all on the floor and hope it's enough.

Q. LeBron, I know, obviously, you have reason to be frustrated. Sitting at the locker like you were just really dejected. Can you talk about how this feeling feels compared to other times where you probably might have been bounced off the playoffs and just your emotion and dealing with that?

LEBRON JAMES: There's not much you can say really. I mean, you get to this point, and I've been on the short end of this four times, and I've been able to win it twice. It's really no great feeling when you lose. Only thing you can do is just try to pick yourself back up whenever that time may be and then just go at it again. I'm a guy who is just trying to be successful in whatever I do, and I give everything to my teammates, give everything to the coaching staff. When you fall short, it hurts and it eats at you, and it hurts me to know that I wish I could have done better and done more and just put a little bit more effort or whatever the case may be to help us get over the hump. But it just wasn't our time.

Q. When you lose on a stage like this, how fast do you begin thinking about next season?

LEBRON JAMES: I haven't thought about next season at all.

Q. LeBron, with all the things you're talking about, Kyrie, Kevin, that you were dealing with, was there ever a point in this Finals that you doubted whether you'd be able to pull this off?

LEBRON JAMES: Yeah, when the numbers went to zero and we lost tonight. That's when I doubted. That's when it was over. I mean, obviously, I knew it was going to be a tough task, and I continued to tell you guys we were undermanned. I don't know any other team I've been watching basketball for a long time. I'm an historian of the game. I don't know any other team that's gotten to The Finals without two All Stars. I cannot remember thinking of it. I can't remember in the back I don't even know if it's ever happened, for a team to lose two All Stars and still be able to make it to The Finals. Even what Andy brings to our team as well, that's another double double guy. We had three playmakers in suits this round and even throughout the playoffs. You've got to have all the playmakers. You've got to be healthy. You've got to be at full strength to win it. We weren't. We just wasn't.

Q. The way you had to play in this series was so out of character for you in terms of how you like to play. Did any part of you enjoy doing that, enjoy being able to do that? Or do you prefer what's more comfortable to you?

LEBRON JAMES: Well, I mean, I enjoy the competition. And whatever it takes throughout the competition I'm fine with. I don't enjoy being as non efficient as I was. I don't enjoy that. I don't enjoy dribbling the ball for countless seconds on the shot clock and the team looking at me to make a play. We had 14 assists tonight. I had nine of them. I did not enjoy that. That's not winning basketball. Like I said, we had two big time playmakers on the sideline. We've got another one that's been out since early in the season. And it was what I had to do. It was what was needed. If I could have gave more, I would have done it, but I gave everything I had.

Q. Did you at any point feel the series shift? And if you felt that shift, were you concerned at the time that there wouldn't be an adjustment that the Cavs can make?

LEBRON JAMES: I felt I mean, it was a great series up until they blew the game open in the fourth in Game 5, but we had a chance there. Tonight we had our chances, but, you know, we ran out of talent. We ran out of talent tonight. We gave everything we had. The guys played as hard as they could as long as we could. But that team across the way, you tip your hats to them. I cannot remember a team like them being healthy all year for the most part. All the guys, I mean, they did a great job. Guys being healthy, guys playing their system, and it showed in these Finals.

Q. LeBron, we learned a little bit more about your, I guess, training regimen throughout the course of these playoffs. Basically it's a two month process you go through with mental and physical preparation. When you don't get the championship, is there any sense of do you question whether it's all worth it? Or can you just have satisfaction in the process?

LEBRON JAMES: Well, of course you question it, especially when you get to this point. I always look at it would I rather not make the playoffs or lose in The Finals? I don't know. I don't know. I've missed the playoffs twice. I lost in The Finals four times. I'm almost starting to be like I'd rather not even make the playoffs than to lose in The Finals. It would hurt a lot easier if I just didn't make the playoffs and I didn't have a shot at it. But then I lock back in and I start thinking about how fun it is to compete during the playoffs and the first round, the second round, and Eastern Conference Finals. If I'm lucky enough to get here again, it will be fun to do it. But put my body through a lot, you know, but it's the price for your body feeling this way for winning. Did I win? I didn't win a championship, but I've done a lot of good things in this first year back, and hopefully I can continue it.

Q. First of all, congrats on the season. Secondly, would you say that this is the most disappointing of the four losses in The Finals?

LEBRON JAMES: All four of them are disappointing. It's not one that's higher or lower or in the middle. You don't win, it's disappointing. It's not just one is bigger than the other.

Q. I meant because of the comeback, the fact that you came back here and decided to make it your home again?

LEBRON JAMES: No, you lose in The Finals, they're all disappointing. Doesn't matter if I'm playing in Miami or playing in Cleveland or playing on Mars. You lose The Finals, it's disappointing.

Q. LeBron, everybody on the Warriors agreed that defending you was the toughest job in basketball. What was your impression of what kind of job Andre Iguodala did, and what was his effect on the series?

LEBRON JAMES: Well, I think the last couple games he played well. He played great, especially offensively. He made us defend him. He knocked down open shots. Defensively, it's never a one on one battle. Guys get caught up in this whole one on one thing, and it's never a one on one battle. Every time I'd get past him, another guy would step up, Draymond Green or whatever the case may be. It's never one on one. It's not this isn't Bird versus Magic or that old video game, Jordan versus Bird, or whatever the case may be. There's no one on one. But I think his ability to play multiple positions for their team along with some of those other guys allowed their team to be so dynamic. He made us pay. He made us pay tonight with big shots, timely shots, getting out on the break, getting rebounds, getting assists. He was pretty good for their team.

J.R. Smith

Iman Shumpert

Matthew Dellavedova

Timofey Mozgov

Head Coach Steve Kerr

Before we begin, I want to say congratulations to Cleveland, to Coach Blatt who did a fantastic job. You think about the injuries they had two of their top three players going down, and for them to have the season that they had and to get to The Finals and to really compete at the highest level and to have us on the ropes, it's an amazing job. Obviously LeBron is just an incredible player. So congrats to the Cavs. We were fortunate in a lot of ways this year. Maybe number one was health. And to win a title there's obviously a lot of work, but a lot of luck as well, and we had a lot of luck on our side this year. And our guys took advantage of it, and they were fantastic. But, man, what a night.

Q. Is it validation of a system that some people thought they couldn't win, or is it having certain special players can overcome any system, basically?

COACH KERR: Yeah, I know there's been all this talk this year especially about the three point shot and can you win shooting it. There's a lot of different styles that can work. You have to base it on your own personnel. But I think what was probably overlooked all year long was that what really wins is the combination of great offense and great defense. We had the No. 1 defense in the league. We had the highest scoring team in the league. We were No. 1 in assists. We were No. 1 in field goal percentage defense. When you get that combination, then you're going to be pretty good. Whether you're shooting threes or twos, it's about the balance. To win a title, you have to be able to make stops. You've got to string stops together at crucial times, and you've got to find ways to score. Our team, because of our depth and our talent, we were able to do that, and it turned into a special season as a result.

Q. Steve, you pointed out early in the series that Andre Iguodala was your best player. He won the Most Valuable Player award. In your opinion, what was it about his play that earned him the Most Valuable Player award?

COACH KERR: Well, guarding LeBron James has to be the hardest job in basketball. So after the first three games we decided to start Andre because he was by far doing the best job on LeBron. But he was also contributing in so many other ways. Offensively their plan was to take Steph away, take Klay away and force Draymond and Andre to beat them, and Andre did. He hit three more threes tonight. 25 points. You could make an argument that it could have gone to Steph, it could have gone to LeBron. But for us, it's really fitting that the award went to Andre because he sacrificed his starting role from the first game of the season. He had never come off the bench once in his entire career, and he sacrificed that job to make Harrison better, to make our bench better, and that set the tone for our whole season. An All Star, an Olympian saying, okay, I'll come off the bench. It set the tone for everything we were able to accomplish, so it feels like full circle to me that Andre received the award. Couldn't happen to a better person.

Q. You guys have been very disciplined through each round, not over celebrating, making sure you're talking about the big picture

COACH KERR: Yeah, not anymore (laughing).

Q. What was that scene like in the locker room? Was it kind of just a pent up release of emotion? We can see what it did to you, but what was it like in there?

COACH KERR: It was chaos. Pure joy. The thing about the NBA playoffs, and I've been through this as a player and going all the way to The Finals five times as a player, but it had been 12 years since I'd been there. My last year with the Spurs. I almost forgot just how grueling the stretch is. I mean, two straight months of emotional stress and physical stress. Just the roller coaster ride that you're on. There are days when you think, boy, I don't know if this is going to happen. Then there are days that go better. As soon as you win a game, you celebrate for a few minutes and your stomach ties up in knots thinking about the next game. So you go through this for two months. Yeah, there's a lot of pent up energy, and relief more than anything, in that locker room.

Q. Do you feel the 40 years? Is that something that dawns on you that this is the end of a 40 year drought?

COACH KERR: I can't tell you how many things are going through my mind because I couldn't allow myself to think about anything like that while we were competing. One of the great scenes for me was standing up on that stage and hearing the "Warriors" chant from, I don't know, 50 yellow clad Warriors fans behind us. I know they were representing Dub Nation. And there's a lot of people cheering for us. I remember coming into Oracle as a player year after year, playing against lousy teams and the fans were there every single year. Loud, supportive, passionate. So I could not be happier for our fan base because they support us through everything.

Q. How did you learn to manage a team like this being so young and never being at this stage before, but having their egos checked at the door? They're sharing the basketball. You're number one in offense all year long. And your role players like David Lee, Iguodala and Bogut don't complain about not having their regular minutes.

COACH KERR: Well, it speaks to the character of the players more than anything. Bob Myers and his staff have done an incredible job of putting together this roster. I was well aware of the versatility that the roster had, but as I got to know the players I realized they had what it took spiritually, emotionally. They were united. They wanted to win. They were close. The last couple years they've been good, but it's just a great group of guys, and they were willing to take the vision that we gave them in the beginning of the season, and we started off really well, which I think helped. But as I mentioned, Andre's sacrifice, David Lee's sacrifice, their willingness to accept roles and keep pushing really was the key to the whole thing.

Q. Coach, you listed a bunch of stats earlier about what you ranked first in. One thing that stands out to me is you ranked first in pace, I think the first team in NBA history to win a title doing that. Did you ever doubt that you could win playing that way considering this Finals that was really a turning point was increasing that pace and trying to get faster play?

COACH KERR: I didn't doubt it because watching this team the last couple years, I just felt like a little faster pace could go a long way. Really, the key was the defense was in place. Mark Jackson and his staff the last couple years, they really built a defensive juggernaut. I mean, this group last year I think was third in the NBA in defensive efficiency. As I said earlier, it's all about balancing the offense and the defense. You've got to have both in some form or fashion. I knew the defense was already there, and I felt like if we played faster and we got more possessions our defense would still hold up because of the shooting and the dynamic play of Steph in particular. It just felt like the combination would work, and Alvin Gentry was really the biggest proponent of the pace and the combination of all that. We felt like it would work, but I'd be lying to you if I told I felt like we were going to win the NBA title.

Q. As you're aware, this is one of your ports of call early in your career. Any significance to winning it here? I know it's not the same building, but it's obviously the same city.

COACH KERR: There was significance. I saw Mark Price the other day in the hallway. It was great to see Mark. I've got wonderful memories of Cleveland. I have family here. Played here for three and a half years, fantastic fans. When Cleveland clinched the East, one of my first thoughts was how happy I was for both fan bases, the Warriors and the Cavs. A lot of years of suffering for both fan bases. You know, I mentioned it earlier, the injuries they suffered were just too much. This would have been a different series with Kyrie and Kevin Love. They had a phenomenal year. The fans here are so loud, they're so supportive. And I used to feel that myself. I've got great memories of those days.

Q. You guys have had a lot of hate come your way this year, but there's been one refrain, and I think it's every time we turn on, Charles Barkley says jump shooting teams can't win championships. You guys kind of brushed that off. But did it ever get in there anywhere? Did you ever want to say anything back?

COACH KERR: Back to Charles?

Q. Or anybody who said that.

COACH KERR: No, I don't worry about that stuff. The only thing I felt like occasionally pointing out, which I never did, but defense. Everyone wanted to talk about how many threes we took. We're the number one defensive team in the league, and that's what wins. You've got to be able to score points somehow, but you have to be good defensively. You have to be great defensively to win a title. For whatever reason, that seemed to be overlooked this year. But the combination of the offense and the defense, that matters, and I don't think people pointed that out enough.

Q. Why didn't you point that out? Why didn't you say anything back to Charles or anybody else?

COACH KERR: I don't know. I love Charles. I mean, guy picked up every bar tab I ever was part of when I was at TNT. So he can say whatever he wants. Love Charles.

Q. There's been a lot of talk about there is no surprise that it's not often, every day a team with a rookie coach wins a championship or a team with no players with NBA Finals experience wins a championship. You guys just struck both those off the list tonight. First time in a long time that's happened. What's that say about people who say you've got to have experience, you've got to learn to lose before you can win? Clearly that wasn't the case with you or your players.

COACH KERR: I just think that every year is so different. A lot is based on match ups and injuries and maybe a little good fortune. We had good fortune with our health most of the year, and that was big. But somebody has to win, and this was a year where LeBron left Miami, so getting to Cleveland with a brand new group, they didn't have the continuity that he had in Miami. The Spurs go out in the first round. They're the defending champs. I thought they were going to be our biggest hurdle. So things went our way, but we took advantage of that. Every year that's the case. A team falls, a team soars, there's injuries, bounce of the ball, whatever. In the end, none of it matters. The only thing that matters is that we got the job done.

Q. Can you compare between the big moment back in Chicago days and your basket to win the championship versus tonight?

COACH KERR: That was a great night for me as a player. It's different as a coach because you feel responsible for a lot of people. Even though you don't take a shot, you don't get a rebound, you feel like you just want people to succeed and you want to help them any way you can. I'm just thrilled for so many people. Our players, mostly, but the people in our organization Rick Welts, Joe Lacob and Peter Guber and the whole group. It's just a phenomenal group of people. I think as a coach you just appreciate kind of the big picture a little bit more.

Q. First of all, congratulations.

COACH KERR: Thank you.

Q. It's fascinating how the game evolves. You've played with Jordan. You've played with Duncan. Could you ever imagine someone like a point guard as Stephen Curry being one of the most unguardable players in the league? How do you think he fits the mold of a transformative player, and how do you think he breaks that mold?

COACH KERR: I imagined it with Steve Nash. Steve was kind of the original Steph Curry. Slightly different, but similar mindset in terms of and similar skillset of passing and the ball handling. And the Suns were so close. Things didn't go their way. But I imagined it. And I was there with Steve as general manager, and I thought it was going to happen for him. But he set the stage for Steph. I think Steve kind of laid out a vision for a whole generation of young point guards. And with the game changing, Mike D'Antoni kind of initiating that style in Phoenix, the floor starting to spread, the whole league kind of playing shooting fours and fives and playing a little faster. I think Mike and Steve in many ways set the table for Steph Curry. And I think Steph would tell you that too. He has great respect for Steve.

Stephen Curry & Klay Thompson

Q. Steph, during your rookie year you talked about how losing still hurt for you and how that was how is that process and your journey with this team affected how you feel in this moment?

STEPHEN CURRY: It makes it so much more special to have gone through some down years and injuries and transition from a roster standpoint and to be able to sit here six years later from my rookie year and hold this trophy, this is an unbelievable experience. Love every single one of my teammates that sacrificed, put in the work, the time for us to be able to enjoy this. The coaching staff as well. So it just makes it so much more special to have gone through some lows, gradually work your way up every year, learn some things, and it all came to fruition with the championship trophy.

Q. For Steph and Klay, can you talk a little bit about how Steve Kerr made you guys better players this year?

KLAY THOMPSON: Well, Steve held us to a high standard. He told us he was going to when we first met him at the USA camp. He's been a great leader. I mean, the guy always keeps his composure. He has an amazing mind for the game, and man, Steve, I'm just proud of him. The way he's balanced everybody and let us know what our roles are, he's been great for us. Him and the whole coaching staff. We all deserve this together, we work so hard.

STEPHEN CURRY: Same thing. He's taken a solid foundation that we built over the last three years. Obviously Coach Jackson had a huge part in changing our identity, and Coach Kerr came in and was very humble about how he was going to approach his job. Because, like I said, he had a lot of talent to work with, a great coaching staff, but he had some ideas as well that he wanted to implement. Ball movement, player movement, managing all the different personalities and situations, handled them so well. Made sure everybody was accountable, like Klay said. Every decision he made, I think everybody bought into it. Whether you understood it or not, you bought into it. Because he's a champion. He's won five of these or something like that, so you've got to trust a guy that's been here before and his view for our team.

Q. Steph, what did you learn about The Finals as you went through this series?

STEPHEN CURRY: To block out the noise. That's the biggest thing. Because it's obviously just you and another team, and all eyes are on you every single step you take. But it's all about winning. Stats really don't matter. I mean, guys have great series and all that and people take notice and take their place in history with those stats and all that stuff. But at the end of the day, it's all about winning and what you can do to help your team get to that point. I can speak volumes about the guy sitting next to me. You look at his stat line tonight, he had a lot of foul trouble and didn't really get going, but when he was in there, he was defending. He was playing physical, and he was doing everything he could to help us win. Little things like that make this trophy possible. And it takes every guy that steps on the floor. So that's the biggest thing I learned. Stats and numbers and story lines, they're fun to kind of watch, but you've got to kind of block that out and just worry about winning.

Q. For both of you guys, what did you learn about Andre Iguodala in this series, in this season, and how did he as Draymond put it save your season?

STEPHEN CURRY: Oh, man, he was special. Obviously he deserved that Finals MVP for the way he impacted the game on both ends and was always ready. I don't think I learned anything new about him because I know that's who he is, and he's shown that all year and throughout his career. He just needed an opportunity and stage to show the world. Playing against a great talent on the other side that was determined to try to help his team win. And Andre stepped up to that challenge every single night and a huge reason why we're celebrating right now. So can't say enough about that guy. For him to have gone through all the different things he's gone through in his career, to be able to hold a championship trophy, I know it's special.

KLAY THOMPSON: He's the ultimate professional. I mean, that guy works on his game every single day. He never complains. He's accepted his role like a true pro, and, man, he stepped up when we needed him most. I mean, I'm so proud of Andre. He deserves everything that's come his way. He's still got a really bright future, and he's a great teammate as well, man. He deserves that trophy, and man, he's a special talent.

Q. Going by the win/loss record, you guys go down with the list of the great teams in the NBA. Do you view yourselves that way? And the way you guys played, people said for a long time, small ball, jump shooting doesn't win titles. Have you kind of changed the way people are going to build teams now?

STEPHEN CURRY: Well, I mean, we'll see. We found a recipe for success, and that's the most important thing for us. Now that we have this under our belt, I think we can actually appreciate what we were able to do this year from start to finish. It's hard in the moment to really understood what 67 wins means in the grand scheme of the history of the NBA, how hard that is. But then also to cap that off with a championship playoff run. So we'll appreciate, I think, that whole journey a lot more now, be able to reflect. I think we definitely are a great team, and a team that should go down in history as one of the best teams from top to bottom. We have a lot of things to be proud of this season. I'm just so happy, man. God is great. For us to be able to have this opportunity, and I'm going to try 1800 more ways to explain this, because this is amazing.

KLAY THOMPSON: It just feels good to say we're the best team in the world with the best player in the world.

STEPHEN CURRY: Appreciate it, man.

KLAY THOMPSON: This man sitting to my right (smiling). It's been a journey, and, man, you can't put it into words. I'm so proud of every man on this team, every man in this organization, and woman. It's been a collective effort, and we're going to enjoy it tonight, man. We deserve to.

Q. Steph, you had a moment with your dad on the court after the game. Your dad never won a championship. Can you just talk about how special that is to be able to share this with him?

STEPHEN CURRY: Yes, it's an unbelievable feeling in that moment. I followed in his footsteps. I've talked about how impactful he's been in my life, just being an example on and off the court of what a true professional is and how he raised me and my brother and my sister. So to be able to have that moment was special. He's living through me and my teammates this and my whole family through this whole journey. I can't be more proud of him as a father and a role model and example for me. I hope it made him proud tonight. I know Klay is probably going to I don't know if you had that moment or not. You probably did. But your dad was a champion before. But it's special to have a guy that plays 16 years in the league, and you understand how hard it is to get to this point, and that makes it so much more special for me to have this for my family.

Andre Iguodala

Q. MVP. Everyone was talking about your defense on LeBron, but you came out tonight and scored 25 points. What are you thinking right now after your defense and offensive performance now that you have that trophy in your hand?

ANDRE IGUODALA: I'm not even thinking about anything. My mind's just blank. Enjoying the moment. Just celebrate with your teammates. I think those are the things that you remember the most in this situation. No turnovers. Good job. This has been a long ride. It's been a great season, and we're just going to enjoy the moment.

Q. Can you give us an idea of what it's like for six games to guard LeBron and yet still put up the numbers that you did offensively?

ANDRE IGUODALA: Exhausting. Exhausting. More mentally than anything. 82 games is a long season. You go through 82 games and you play hard. It will prepare you for the physical load, and then playing him a lot, I kind of knew how to lessen the blow, you know, or expecting it. But mentally just thinking about it every single day, during practice, after practice, at night when I sleep. My nap, I had no nap today. I usually get a nap, and I couldn't sleep because I just kept thinking about the game and what do I need to do to win, how to guard LeBron. That's what makes him arguably the best player in the world right now, because you have to put so much effort in, not trying to stop him, but trying to contain him, because you really can't stop him.

Q. If I would have told you two weeks ago that you would have been the MVP, what would you have told me?

ANDRE IGUODALA: I'm not surprised because I'm that confident in my game. I'm too hard on myself most of the time. I'm not surprised, but I would have bet on I would have bet on Steph. I would have bet on Draymond. Draymond's been great for us all year and very, very high IQ guy. This is the type of series where he can get triple double numbers every night, and we saw it in the Houston series, and I knew it would carry over. So those two guys I would have bet on. I was just happy we for winning the ring. I didn't care about anything else. This is just a plus.

Q. Once it became clear their defensive approach was to let you and Draymond and Harrison take the shots and they weren't going to let Steph and Klay shoot, how did you adjust to that?

ANDRE IGUODALA: Well, when we play pick up in practice or we practice and it's the first unit versus second unit I'm shooting the ball a little bit more, I'm scoring. The second unit is we beat the first unit more times than they beat us, and I think it was by a landslide. And I used to take it personal. Not just me versus Harrison because he's starting over me or I was trying to prove a point, but you're just playing basketball, and if you enjoy the game, you're going to play hard no matter what. I think that's helped us throughout the year is that we competed with one another and that helped us carry it over into the game. So starting those games in practice, it helped with being put in the lineup in The Finals.

Q. Did you feel that winning the championship was going to be dependent on you knocking down those shots?

ANDRE IGUODALA: That's a good question. My mind was working so many ways. Like what's going to happen if you win? What's going to happen if you lose? How do you approach the game starting? Do you come out firing? Do you let it just come to you? So for me, it was just playing my game. If you're feeling it, shoot it. If you feel like you can make a play for somebody else, just make a play for somebody else. I think that's helped me throughout my career, and it's helped my career last this long and be this effective. Because whether I'm scoring the ball or I'm not, I'm really effective in being a force on the court.

Q. When you think about a team in the NBA Finals that enters with zero players that have experience in The Finals and now it's the championship team, what is the most striking characteristic of why that happened, how this team grew into a champion?

ANDRE IGUODALA: Hungry. We have a lot of different personalities. Draymond's loud. Klay's quiet. Then we've got everything in between. But the common denominator is guys were like really hungry to show what they can do individually, and then we really believed in our team as a group and what we could do. But we've got some veteran guys on the team. Barbosa's been on some great teams. Shaun Livingston has come back from a horrific injury, and I've been knowing him since we were 10, 11 years old. So I know he's got that basketball blood in him. Draymond has been to Final Fours. Steph has had the pressure of having to perform night in and night out with guys going at him. Klay's had to prove his worth and getting his big contract. Harrison's continuing to get better every day and establishing himself as a starting 3 man. And then Bogut's being one of the best defenders in the league. So everybody has something they want to bring to the table and prove. So guys play for themselves. That's just human nature. But when you get all those guys together and say we're going to do it together as a team, that's an awesome formula for what we put together tonight, and that is a championship.

Q. How did this team grow up during the series?

ANDRE IGUODALA: We felt like they were bringing the fight to us. Game 1 was a good grind out battle. We snuck that one out. Game 2 we were one rebound away from winning. Then Game 3 we had a good run coming back, but they finally they just ended the game like they were supposed to with the lead. But those first three games, they were bringing the fight to us. They were hitting us. Dellavedova was all over the place. He was diving on the ground. He was the first one on every loose ball. They were hitting us, and we were just reacting. I felt like Games 5 and 6 4, 5, and 6 we were proactive. We brought the fight to them, and we made them adjust, if they could, to what we were doing, and it just worked out for us.

Q. Andre, your coach and several of your teammates called guarding LeBron the toughest job in basketball. Why is that the toughest job in basketball, and how long have you prepared yourself for that moment?

ANDRE IGUODALA: I've been preparing for the moment for 11 years now. I've seen him every year I've been in this league. LeBron doesn't have any weaknesses, or he doesn't have a glaring weakness. So you've got to pick up on the smaller things to try to make him uncomfortable. Like knowing which side he likes to shoot threes off the dribble, which side he likes to drive. One side he'll drive left more often, and the other side he'll drive right more often. So after 11 years you're just picking up all this information. I'm a basketball junky, so I watch old players. The '90s was a great era of basketball. I watched so much of that. That just helped me be a student of the game and pick up any moment. It's the 10,000 hour rule. You're just trying to master your craft.

Q. Coach Kerr talked about how it was fitting that you won the MVP considering your role on this team. Did you feel it was fitting that you won the title in such a team effort, particularly with the effort from Livingston and Festus?

ANDRE IGUODALA: Yeah, that's the ultimate thing. You look at how games came together, different guys won games in different ways. Tonight it was Festus. I believe Game 4 we won here it was Shaun Livingston. Like I had a I had a good night, but you look at the numbers, and Shaun Livingston was awesome for us. I think he had eight points and seven assists and a bunch of rebounds. But then Barbosa had an awesome night in Game 5 back at home, and you just have somebody stepping up every single night in a small way that helps the bigger picture. I mean, David Lee hadn't played, and he comes in Game 4, big lift for us. In the Game 3 we lost, but at the end of that game David Lee made a couple passes to me. We come back, we made a run. We were down 14, 15, and we cut it to 1, and David Lee did that for us. I think he opened Coach's eyes, like if we do this, this could help. That's when he put me in the lineup, threw Draymond in that spot D. Lee was in in Game 3, and that started happening.

Q. You had an interesting career journey, obviously starting in Philly, kind of being the number one guy there, and then coming here and having to kind of sacrifice your role. Then being a starter and going to the bench. How have you been able to adjust to all of that, and how does it feel wrapping it up with an MVP in The Finals?

ANDRE IGUODALA: Great feeling. I think all those years and going through everything I went through, the good and the bad, can prepare you for this moment. Being in Philly I had some teams we were a very close group. I think we maximized our talent. That's helped me a lot here with just telling these guys, listen, I've been on teams that we've been close knit and it helped us just getting to the playoffs because we weren't the most talented, but we got there because we played so hard together. I said, you just imagine our talent and our cohesiveness in putting it together, the results that can come from that. This is an amazing feeling. We're going to enjoy this one.


  • The Cleveland Cavaliers finished the 2015 postseason with a franchise-record 14 wins.
  • Cleveland bested Golden State on the glass as it outrebounded the Warriors 56-39 including 16 offensive rebounds which were tied for the second most during the playoffs. The Cavs were led in rebounding by three players with double-digit boards (LeBron James – 18, Tristan Thompson – 13 and Timofey Mozgov – 12). The last time three Cavs had 12+ rebounds in a playoff game was 4/30/1992 @ New Jersey (Daugherty 14, Nance 13, Williams 13). (Elias Sports Bureau)
  • LeBron James led the Wine and Gold by recording his NBA-high 14th double-double of the 2015 playoffs (74th of postseason career) after finishing with a game-high 32 points, a 2015 postseason-high tying 18 rebounds, a team-high nine assists and two steals in 47 minutes. It was James’ fifth consecutive playoff contest where he posted at least 20 points, 12 boards and eight assists, which was the first time a player was able to do that in NBA Playoff history. (Elias Sports Bureau)
  • For the 2015 NBA Finals, LeBron James averaged 35.8 points, 13.3 rebounds and 8.8 assists which were the high marks for each category by any player in the series. James became the first NBA player to average those numbers for a postseason series and became the first player to lead both teams in scoring, rebounding and assists during an NBA Finals. (Elias Sports Bureau)
  • With LeBron James’ 12th point of the night, he became just the sixth player in NBA history to score 5,000 career playoff points, joining Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Tim Duncan.
  • With his first made free throw of the night, LeBron James passed Karl Malone (1,269) for 3rd all-time in playoff history and now has (1,273) for his career.
  • LeBron James’ 13 field goal makes on the evening also moved him past Karl Malone (1,743) for 6th place on the career playoff field goals made list. He needed 11 field goals to pass Malone and now has 1,746 field goal makes in his playoff career.
  • LeBron James’ 47 minutes moved him into 7th all-time in playoff minutes with 7,562. He surpassed both Magic Johnson (7,538) and Wilt Chamberlain (7,559) on the all-time list.
  • Timofey Mozgov notched his fifth double-double of the 2015 postseason after finishing with 15 points on 5-8 (.625) shooting from the field, 12 rebounds (seven offensive), two assists and a game-high four blocks in 33 minutes of action. For the 2015 NBA Finals, Mozgov averaged 14.0 points on .551 shooting from the field, 7.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 28.3 minutes. He recorded four blocks in two of the six games during the Finals.
  • Tristan Thompson recorded his fourth straight double-double (ninth of postseason) after tallying 15 points on 7-12 (.583) shooting from the field, 13 rebounds (four offensive) and one block in 37 minutes. Thompson finished the postseason by grabbing 10 or more rebounds in 13 of the Cavaliers last 15 games and led the Is now averaging an NBA Finals high 13.8 boards per game this series.
  • J.R. Smith connected on 4-9 (.444) shots from the three-point line and finished the night with 19 points, five rebounds, one steal and one block in 34 minutes off the bench. The 19 points were Smith’s most in the 2015 Finals.

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