OAKLAND, Calif. -- There's a secret to the Golden State Warriors' success, a secret that goes beyond having such an absurd collection of talent: Perhaps the two greatest three-point shooters of all time in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, perhaps the greatest natural scorer of all time in Kevin Durant and perhaps one of the most versatile defenders of all time in Draymond Green.
The secret lies in that mystical buzzword you hear so much around professional and collegiate sports: culture.
And what's a great culture look like?
Well, according to Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, it's pretty simple. Don't just have good players. Have good people.
"The seeds are planted with the players themselves," Kerr told CBS Sports HQ after Tuesday morning's shootaround, hours before the Warriors were to open their season against the Oklahoma City Thunder and raise their third championship banner over the past four years.
The Warriors enter the 2018-19 NBA season with massive expectations but also serious questions: How will the center position work out as three young players share duties? How will All-Star DeMarcus Cousins be incorporated into the mix once he returns from his ruptured Achilles tendon? How much of a storyline will Kevin Durant's Warriors future be throughout the season? And how can the Warriors, a year after what Kerr called the most "inconsistent" and "difficult" season of their run, make it through another nine-month grind with one of the most powerful microscopes in sports trained on their every move?
Kerr opened up to CBS Sports HQ about this upcoming NBA season, where the Warriors are again the overwhelming favorites to win the title.
CBS Sports: Everyone can see the strengths of this team. As a coach, where does your No. 1 concern lie?
Steve Kerr: I think to start the season I'm concerned about our defense. We're playing a lot of young guys. Damian Jones is our starting center. He's got a ton of potential but is really young. Like a lot of young players, he's not a loud communicator. The last few years we've had veteran anchors at center: Andrew Bogut, Zaza Pachulia, David West, JaVale McGee. We've had guys who've been around. And they're more comfortable with all the multiples sets you see in the NBA. Center has to anchor the defense. We got some young guys -- [Kevon] Looney, Jordan Bell, Damian Jones -- all playing center. So I think that'll be not a concern but an area where we're going to grow and get a lot better.
CBS: What's your concern level about Draymond Green's injured knee?
SK: Not too worried about the knee. He's feeling good. More concerned about his conditioning. I think it'll take him a few games to really get into the groove because he only played a couple of preseason games. He missed 10 days of training camp, so he missed the meat of the conditioning where you really lay the foundation individually with your strength and conditioning.
CBS: Fans, media, we speak about the Warriors with this sense of inevitability. How do you keep that way of thinking from bleeding into your locker room?
SK: We're used to it. I think back to 2015, our first year, when we won the championship. It was so new. But since then, we've been through everything. We've seen it all. We lost at home in a Game 7 of the Finals. We won a couple of titles. Throughout the year, there's always this stuff. You just learn to tune it out. There's going to be adversity. We're going to lose two or three games in a row, and everybody's going to say, 'Oh my God, the Warriors are in huge trouble.' You just move on. Because you know it's all just noise.
CBS: What's your most important role as a coach, big-picture, when you're the leader of such an absurd collection of talent?
SK: This group makes it really easy on you because of their unselfish nature, individually and collectively. They really enjoy passing the ball. I don't have to worry about egos. I don't have to worry about who's touching the balls, who's getting how many shots, all that stuff. My job is really to guide our team through the long season, to check in with individual players all the time, see how they're doing physically and emotionally, help the group forward through the months, keep an even keel and try to have them in the best possible place come April, May, June.
CBS: You seem to be hinting at that positive Warriors' culture. Where were the seeds of that culture planted?
SK: The seeds are planted with the players themselves. Culture is a fancy word for what kind of players you have -- what kind of people you have. I played for the Spurs for four years. We had this incredible culture. Gregg Popovich was the first to admit that culture was based on David Robinson and Tim Duncan being incredible human beings. That's how I feel about our group. When I came here in 2014-15, Andre Iguodala immediately says, 'No problem, I'll take a bench role.' Steph Curry brings this spirit and joy every day to work because he loves playing so much. Klay Thompson is a machine -- zero maintenance, every day he's working. Draymond Green is our heartbeat, our engine, the guy who is pushing. My job's just to guide them. Their personalities, that's what forms the culture. We're lucky to have the players we do, because they create this great environment in which we're working.
CBS: Assuming Boogie Cousins is 100 percent healthy when he returns, how does he have to change his game to fit what you guys do, and how do you guys change what you do to fit his game?
SK: Those are good questions. This is not like adding a three-point spot-up shooter to the mix, where you still run the exact same plays but you just have a guy in space. We're going to run a lot of offense through DeMarcus, so that gives us a new dimension. That puts the onus on us as coaches to find the right combinations around him to give him space to move, to get everybody comfortable playing with him. The flip side is he has to adapt to what we already do. We're not changing who we are. We look at it like we're adding a dimension that we hadn't had. It's on us and on DeMarcus to make that blend together and work.
CBS: After winning the title last season you spoke about that as the most inconsistent and difficult year in the Warriors' run. How do you guard against that with this team, and how do you stop this five-year grind from grinding you down?
SK: You don't stop it. I'm not sure you even guard against it. What we're trying to do is remind our guys how lucky we are to be in this position. We want to enjoy it for as long as it lasts. Maybe it lasts a few more seasons. Who knows? Maybe it doesn't. You don't know what's coming in the NBA, or in life. You enjoy the process.