Here’s a transcript from this morning’s post-shootaround chat with Stephen Curry. Reporter questions are paraphrased and in italics.
How do you feel?
I’m feeling great, all things considered. I’m ready to go tonight.
Any other symptoms come up?
Not really. I had a good night’s sleep after the game. It was nice to be able to stay in Houston. I had a little bit of lingering effects yesterday, just soreness from the fall and all that. But nothing really long-term I have to worry about.
Any lasting effects? Feel woozy at all?
Nah, never. I feel real coherent, ready to go. Excited for the opportunity we have tonight to finish this thing off. I’ll be ready to go, play my usual minutes, do what I need to do to help my team win. I expect to be impactful tonight.
Did the flight affect you?
Have you watched the fall much?
I’m seen it plenty of times now. I’m just real thankful I came out of it as well as I did because when I saw my arm plant down first, you look at it and you think that’s the first thing that’s going to go. But thankfully it kind of slipped out from underneath me and then you land on your right side. I just appreciate all the doctor’s and trainers that were on the court helping me take my time because once I got on the ground, my memory is I wanted to get up sooner than they wanted me to. They were definitely thorough in making sure I was ready to go back into the locker room to get evaluated some more. But it was definitely scary so I’m glad I made it out OK, play tonight and be ready to go.
Is the sleeve on your arm a nuisance?
I shot pretty well with it right now, so hopefully that will continue tonight. I don’t wear them ever, so it takes a little bit of getting used to.
Does watching the replay give you any pause?
I won’t think about it tonight, like stay out of the paint. I won’t probably jump at any pump fakes. I’ll be more disciplined in that regard. But other than that, you stay aggressive, you stay in attack mode, whether it’s on offense or defense. It’s obviously kind of a freak incident. If Trevor goes straight up without pump faking, nothing happens. I probably foul him but I don’t flip over. He obviously made a good basketball play to pump fake and get me up in the air. From there, it’s just an unavoidable situation that you just hope for the best on the way down. But it won’t change how I play.
Thoughts on James Harden’s performance?
He did what he needed to do to help his team win. He made shots, he was aggressive. But I think the way that we started the game on the defensive end allowed them a whole lot of confidence and they took it and ran with it. We didn’t do anything to make them uncomfortable, to slow them down or leave our imprint on that end. We made some runs obviously to get back into the game and show we could defend at a high level, but if you give a 20-point lead in the first quarter, you’re not going to win many games like that. So we’ll come out with more aggressiveness and more desperation to close out the series.
Was returning to the court important to prove to yourself and teammates that you were OK?
Honestly, all that didn’t really go into my decision or the decision in the locker room. It was, I wanted to play because I’m looking at the score, we’re closing in, it’s a 10-, 12-, 15-point game, which is within striking distance. And if I felt like myself and could go out and give my team something, I wanted to go out and do that. That was the only thing I was concerned about. My teammates, I talked to them at halftime, they knew I was alright, that whether I played in the second half or not, I’d probably be OK for Game 5 regardless. It wasn’t anything really catastrophic. But once I was cleared to go back out on the court in the third quarter, I felt like it was a good decision to go out and play and see what I can do.
Reaction to Howard not getting suspended?
Most guys didn’t expect him to get suspended, obviously with the situation and the series. It’s just kind of interesting the decisions that are made from game to game and case to case, but it’s a league decision. Whether he’s playing or not, we still have to beat them one more time and that’s all we’re worried about.
What would it mean to close out the series at home?
It would be nice because that means we get it done tonight. It would be nice to celebrate with our fans, see what that atmosphere is going to be like. It’s the next objective in front of us, to win Game 5, I think we’re pretty focused and ready for the moment so it should be a good night for us.
Did they give you a formal diagnosis on your right elbow?
It’s just the impact of the fall. My whole right side took the brunt of that force and my head. It’s basically like a bruise all the way up and down my body. The funny thing is I had so much of an adrenaline rush during the hour or so I was in the back and even in the second half when I came out and played, you don’t feel anything besides the bruise on your head because that was the first thing I felt on the floor. But I didn’t feel anything else because you’re just so amped up and then it all kind of hits you after the game and then today. You fall like that, it’s scary, but this is something you deal with throughout your career. You run into a screen, you’re going to get hit. You might take a charge or something and get bruised up, but I can deal with that.
Are the home fans a factor for you tonight?
They’re always a huge factor, every game that we play in front of them at Oracle Arena. It’ll be an electric atmosphere tonight, knowing what’s at stake. We’ve got to give them something to cheer about, especially in the first quarter and not start off the game like we did in Houston in Game 4.
Did you have to convince your mom that you were OK?
Yeah, she’s still a little shaken up, my wife too. I can imagine being in the stands and seeing. From their vantage point they probably saw me fall and then probably didn’t see anything from there on because of where they were sitting. And then I was down for however long. You can imagine what kind of thoughts probably go through their heads. They obviously want the best for me and want me to be alright. It’s kind of hard to shake off that initial emotion of seeing me fall.
I was trying to be my usual self after the game. We went to the hotel, we watched a movie, kind of just sat around around hotel room and talked and I was making jokes, just trying to be my normal self to hopefully convince them I was alright. I think it worked.