Wednesday , Sep , 30 , 2009 Oly Sandor

The strange saga of Monta Ellis and the Golden State Warriors

The Warriors have to find a veteran to serve as Ellis’ big brother. Minnesota’s Antonio Daniels would be a fit because he has been both student and teacher. In San Antonio, he learned from mentor Avery Johnson and then guided Luke Ridnour through his rough patches in Seattle. Daniels, who is in the final year of his contract, can still play a little, too …


The strange saga of Monta Ellis and the Golden State WarriorsThere are certain things a professional athlete shouldn’t do.

For instance, a professional athlete shouldn’t wreck his leg on a moped and, because he’s in violation of his $66 dollar contract, lie to the organization about how he sustained the injury. And a professional athlete shouldn’t throw a rookie teammate under the bus on the first day of training camp.

Of course, there are certain things a sports franchise shouldn’t do.

For instance, the franchise shouldn’t put a shy teenager from Mississippi in the NBA without first finding him a legitimate mentor. And the franchise shouldn’t surround this youngster with a dysfunctional and destructive environment.

Over the last year, Monta Ellis and the Golden State Warriors have both acted in an unprofessional manner. Each is frustrated with the other. And yesterday things got tense at media day.

Ellis, perhaps taking cue from the hectic atmosphere around the Warriors, startled reporters and the club’s public relations department by declaring he and highly touted lottery pick Stephen Curry couldn’t form a starting backcourt.

“Us together? No. Can’t. We just can’t. You’re not going to win that way. You can’t put two small guys out there and play the one and the two. You’ve got big two guards in the league,” he said.  

“You just can’t do it. Yes, you’re going to move up and down but eventually the game is going to slow down. You can’t do it.” Dimemag.com

Clearly, tension exists between Ellis and Golden State. Without pulling a Dr. Phil, there are ways to improve this relationship.

Ellis needs stability. And fast. Coach Don Nelson, who operates in a perpetual state of chaos, can’t provide it. With Chris Cohan looking to sell the team, it’s doubtful anyone in ownership or management can get past their differences with the talented guard and reach out to him.

The Warriors have to find a veteran to serve as Ellis’ big brother. Minnesota’s Antonio Daniels would be a fit because he has been both student and teacher. In San Antonio, he learned from mentor Avery Johnson and then guided Luke Ridnour through his rough patches in Seattle. Daniels, who is in the final year of his contract, can still play a little, too.

Frankly, Ellis needs to mature. He must remember Golden State took a chance on him, selecting him out of high school with the fortieth pick in the 2005 draft. Ellis also must remember he chose to re-sign with the Warriors last summer as a free agent. The club, his employer, is paying him rather handsomely and deserves greater professionalism.

Today, Ellis softened his stance on playing with Curry, but only just.

“It’s a job,” Ellis said. “This is what you do in training camp; you compete. It’s nothing against him (Curry). I don’t know him. He doesn’t know me. But we’re teammates. Same way when I was here with Baron Davis and Derek Fisher. They didn’t come in here and butter me up, pat me on the back or nothing.” (San Jose Mercury, September 30)

Perhaps, Ellis has a point. However, Curry, as a rookie, didn’t need to be put under-the-gun on the first day at his very first training camp. Ellis, as a co-captain, could have extended some courtesy to his new teammate, even though they are technically ‘competing‘. 

This year was supposed to be a new beginning for Ellis and the Warriors. It looks like it will be more of the same old, though.

Sound off: Got thoughts on Ellis and the Warriors? Get at us in the comment box below. Follow Oly on HoopsVibe and Twitter. Photo courtesy of Bright Like Neon.