HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Maybe this is a coincidence. Maybe not.
There is, however, no disputing the obvious: Monta Ellis and the Golden State Warriors are a happier, more functional team since Don Nelson, the mad scientist on the sideline, retired.
To be fair, Nelson wins regular season games. And his small-ball approach occasionally captivated –who can forget the Warriors upset of the Dallas Mavericks in the 2007 playoffs?
He also alienated. Soon after the ‘We Believe’ miracle, Nelson soured on key players such as Baron Davis, Al Harrington, and Stephen Jackson.
Such dysfunction unfortunately influenced Ellis, a young combo guard with quicks and skills.
For instance, Ellis lied about injuring his ankle while riding a moped. The reason: he was in violation of his 6 year, $66 million extension.
Ellis also ‘welcomed’ rookie Stephen Curry to his first ever training camp by declaring he couldn’t form a backcourt with the lottery pick. There were trade requests and disputes with the organization.
This, as they say, is water under the bridge.
Nelson is gone –for good. New Coach Keith Smart has the Warriors at 4-1. Ellis is happy with the team. The team is happy with Ellis.
Maybe this is a coincidence. Probably not.
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.