The best Warriors quotes on coaching, teamwork

The Golden State Warriors won the NBA Championship on Tuesday, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 in game six of the Finals. Coach Steve Kerr and his team had a lot to say following their victory, and we compiled some of the best quotes that spoke to the things most important to Coach & Athletic Director readers — teamwork, motivation, overcoming adversity and great coaching.

Here are some of the most insightful postgame quotes from members of the Warriors.

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr. | Photo: Keith Allison, Wikimedia Commons
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr. | Photo: Keith Allison, Wikimedia Commons

Steve Kerr

On whether the win validates that his system works …

Yeah, I know there’s been all this talk this year especially about the 3‑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.

On Andre Iguodala coming off the bench nearly all season to win series MVP …

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.

On how a young team is so humble and unselfish …

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.

On winning a title as a coach versus winning one 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.

NBA MVP Steph Curry. | Photo: Keith Allison, Wikimedia Commons
NBA MVP Steph Curry. | Photo: Keith Allison, Wikimedia Commons

Steph Curry

On how Steve Kerr made him better …

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.

On Klay Thompson, everyone contributing …

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.

Klay Thompson

On how Steve Kerr made him better …

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.

Andre Iguodala

On how a team with no Finals experience wins it all …

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. … 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.

On guarding LeBron James …

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.

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