When will Golden State commit to Andris Biedrins, Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, and Anthony Randolph?
Consider the past few months. In late August, captain Stephen Jackson demanded a trade just months after signing a three year, $30 million contract extension. On the first day of training camp, Monta Ellis -who missed part of last year when he violated his contract and injured himself riding a moped- told reporters he didn’t want to share the backcourt with super-rookie Stephen Curry …
Every day until the regular season begins, HoopsVibe the Blog will ask and answer an important question facing each of the NBA’s thirty teams. Weigh-in with thoughts on our ‘Key Questions’ feature in the comment box below.
Today’s team: the Golden State Warriors.
Key Question: When will Golden State truly commit to Andris Biedrins, Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, and Anthony Randolph?
The Answer: Well, not now.
With the exception of a memorable run in 2007, the Golden State Warriors seem stuck in a never-ending state of dysfunction. Yes, never-ending.
Consider the past few months. In late August, captain Stephen Jackson demanded a trade just months after signing a three year, $30 million contract extension. On the first day of training camp, Monta Ellis – who missed part of last year when he violated his contract and injured himself riding a moped – told reporters he didn’t want to share the backcourt with super-rookie Stephen Curry.
This past week, Jackson took back the spotlight from Ellis. He was suspended by the team for swearing at Coach Don Nelson during an exhibition game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Then Jackson relinquished his captaincy in a meeting with Nelson. And, to top it off, he told reporters he was Kobe Bryant’s equal on the basketball court.
Of course, these flare-ups provide a convenient distraction from the real issue: instability at the top prevents the organization from making good decisions. Thankfully, long-time owner Chris Cohan seems ready to sell his majority share and then a much needed overhaul can occur.
Until then, the dysfunction will continue. This is a shame because the Warriors have young talent, but lack the systems, discipline, and stability to get the most out of them.
Andris Biedrins, Curry, Ellis, and Anthony Randolph could form a nice nucleus. After all, Biedrins is a lock for a double-double every night, while Curry and Ellis both have the speed and skill-set to make regular appearances at the All-Star game. Randolph, with his natural athleticism, could also develop into a dominant player.
Unfortunately, the club hasn’t provided any mentors. The front office and sideline are in a constant state of disarray; most of the veterans, like Jackson, are too preoccupied with their personal situations to model professionalism.
The sooner a new owner and coach are in place, the better. With Cohan and Nelson still calling the shots, Golden State’s blue-chippers will be forced to share minutes and the spotlight with older players like Corey Maggette and, for now, Jackson.
The Warriors will move forward when they commit to their youngsters and provide an environment for them to succeed. And this only happens after Cohan and Nelson leave.
Prediction: They’ll miss the playoffs.