On January 6, the San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami wrote of the Golden State’s recovering Monta Ellis, “he definitely is not pleased about rejoining a Warriors universe that is ruled by Don Nelson and Robert Rowell,” declaring “Ellis sees a backcourt already stuffed with Jamal Crawford, Marco Belinelli, C.J. Watson, Kelenna Azubuike, Corey Maggette and Stephen Jackson.”
“I believe that Ellis, like Al Harrington before him, is realizing that he doesn™t want to play for Nelson any more“he doesn™t want Belinelli and Crawford used as pawns against him, he doesn™t want to get caught up in this spiraling season as Nelson plays his mind games” insisted Kawakami in a Mercury News blog entry guaranteed to embarrass player and organization alike. Yesterday, in Ellis’ first full practice of the season, he offered the following reply to the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Janny Hu :
“Listen, whatever it is about me leaving, wanting to go, I don’t want to play for Nellie – that never came from my mouth,” Ellis said Tuesday. “I don’t know where they got that from, but I’m here for the next six years. I’m a Warrior. I’m going to always be a Warrior. Whoever put that out there did it because they wanted a story.
“I’m making it known right now that I’m a Warrior,” he continued. “I love playing for Nellie, and I never said (otherwise), not one time. So you don’t have to worry about that. … Only thing I’m worried about is getting back on the basketball court.”
I understand the Warriors requesting him to paint the loveliness. I understand Ellis not wanting this talk to bubble up now. I understand the fury directed at me.
This was due to happen. The Warriors really, really, really, really want to shoot this one down and probably to (metaphorically) shoot me. All good.
But if you think Monta wasn™t and isn™t mad about the way his situation has been handled, if you think this clears up everything and that this issue will never rear its head again for Ellis and the Warriors, if you think people around the league will now tell themselves, œOh, Monta™s a Warrior for life, then Robert Rowell has got you. He has really got you.
This is natural thunder from the Warriors, who need a happy Ellis to sell tickets, and if he is happy with the Warriors, fine and dandy. It would be good for everybody if he™s happy. It would be good for the Warriors if he™s happy.
Let™s get to next week, when Ellis™ agent is scheduled to come to down to assess their situation.
Let™s see if the Warriors have given Ellis everything he wants (in order to set up this sweet soliloquy today) or let™s see if Ellis comes back completely accepting the $3M fine, the voiding possibility and his position under Nelson.
But hmm, interesting phrasing by Ellis on my report: œThat never came from my mouth.
Didn™t Al Harrington say how œthose words didn™t come from me or something to that effect on the day I reported that he™d asked to be traded, just about an hour before he formally asked to be traded?