Posted on: November 13, 2009 3:53 pm
NEW YORK -- The Warriors apparently made it through their shootaround Friday without any shouting matches. This qualifies as progress for a team cloaked in controversy. Afterward, coach Don Nelson was unapologetic about his verbal confrontation with Monta Ellis, which took place at practice a day earlier.
"I disciplined a player in practice, and that’s part of my job description," Nelson told CBSSports.com after the shootaround in preparation for Friday night's game against the Knicks. "I've done it before and I’ll do it again, and that’s all I’ve got to say about it."
Nelson confirmed that it was Ellis, his $66 million guard, who received the brunt of the discipline. "Yes, it was Monta," he said. "But I'm not going to go into it. I disciplined the player, it’s over, and that’s all I have to say about it."
Asked if he and Ellis were OK going forward, Nelson said, "You need to talk to Monta about that. I’m OK."
Ellis wasn't available for comment after shootaround.
The Ellis situation, which boiled over in full view of the team's beat writers and ended with Nelson waving his hands in disgust and Ellis barking at him, is hardly the only issue consuming the Warriors. Anthony Randolph's undefined role, the awkward attempt to pair Ellis and rookie Stephen Curry in the backcourt, and of course, Stephen Jackson's request to be traded have shadowed the team's every misstep on the way to a 2-5 start.
Nelson said Friday there were no developments in the team's attempt to oblige Jackson's trade request. As Nellie recently noted, Jackson is the definition of difficult to trade because of the three years and $28 million left on his contract after this season. But while other teams -- Indiana with Jamaal Tinsley, the Knicks with Stephon Marbury, and the Sixers with Allen Iverson -- have sent troublesome players home while attempting to trade them, Nelson said that's not an option with Jackson.
"Jack is a good player, and even though he may not be able to perform up to what he did a year ago because he doesn’t want to be here, he can still be a positive factor and help us win some games," Nelson said.
Speaking after shootaround, Jackson said he's still on speaking terms with Nelson, but added, "It's not what it used to be." No surprise there, considering Jackson's agent, Mark Stevens, recently ripped Nelson publicly by questioning his trustworthiness.
"I think at this point, I come out here and respect him as a coach and do my job and leave it at that," Jackson said. "I think that’s the best thing for me right now. Just give him the respect he deserves as a coach and do my job. And then once I leave the gym, I'm on my own."
Posted on: November 12, 2009 5:36 pm
Things are so bad with the Warriors that they can't even get through a practice without an altercation between Don Nelson and name-that-player.
This time, it's Nellie and Monta Ellis butting heads. The two got into a brief but heated exchange after the team practiced in New York in advance of playing the Knicks Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
The whole thing unfolded in plain view -- and apparently within earshot -- of beat writers Marcus Thompson II and Rusty Simmons. Their skilled, detailed accounts of the latest Golden State blowup can be found here and here.
The condensed version is as follows: Ellis and guard Acie Law were sitting on the bench after practice when Nellie walked by. Ellis, known to be at his wit's end over the Warriors' dysfunction and his ill-fated pairing with Stephen Curry, asked Nelson, "Coach, why do I get blamed for everything?"
"What have I ever blamed you for?" Nelson responded, and away they went. The exchange ended with Nelson waving his hands in disgust and Ellis saying, "See, that's why I don't do it. I just won't do it."
More Friday from shootaround at MSG, where the Warriors will see if they can walk through their game plan -- assuming they have one -- without another hissy fit.
Posted on: June 18, 2009 12:25 pm
Warriors coach Don Nelson and GM Larry Riley flew to Memphis recently for a damage-control meeting with Monta Ellis. The message? Golden State isn’t looking to trade Ellis, whom they signed to a six-year, $66 million extension last summer. Instead, they wanted to tell Ellis in person that they intend to make him a captain and build around him.
It was a tumultuous year for Ellis and the Warriors, who threatened to void Ellis’ contract over an offseason moped accident that resulted in a 30-game suspension costing Ellis about $3 million. In April, Golden State officials sent a letter to Ellis’ agent, Jeff Fried, relinquishing their rights to void the contract. That ended one controversy but left another one still brewing.
Ellis’ strongest supporter in the Golden State front office was former GM Chris Mullin, who has been told he is not wanted back after his contract expires June 30. Mullin has avoided official contact with any potential suitors until the contract expires. But Ellis’ concern about his standing with the franchise in Mullin’s absence needed to be addressed. So Nelson and Riley flew to Memphis, where Ellis has been with his first son – Monta Jr. – who was born June 5.
“The GM and the coach traveled to Memphis to further provide that assurance to Monta that this is his team and they’re looking to build this team around him for years to come,” Fried said in a phone interview Friday. “Monta’s response to them was that the most important component is winning. He wants to win and he wants to win with the Warriors.”
Golden State has the seventh pick in next Thursday’s draft and is deeply involved in trade talks involving the pick. But those talks, evidently, will not involve Ellis.
Posted on: December 18, 2008 10:32 am
According to the Charlotte Observer, the Warriors are interested in trading for Charlotte point guard Ray Felton, whose future with the Bobcats has been clouded by the performance of rookie D.J. Augustin.
The scenario makes sense on several levels, and I am checking with sources to determine the likelihood of a deal that would send Felton to Golden State for a package including either Anthony Randolph or Brandan Wright.
The Bobcats opted not to extend Felton's contract last summer after selecting Augustin ninth overall, and Felton could leave as a restricted free agent if Charlotte opts not to match potentially lucrative offer sheets.
Golden State is known to be high on Wright, whom the Bobcats drafted on the Warriors' behalf to complete a draft-day trade sending Jason Richardson to Charlotte. Felton would be a good fit in the Warriors' backcourt because he would free up Monta Ellis, once he returns from an ankle injury sustained in an offseason moped accident, to be a scorer as the shooting guard. Stay tuned.
Posted on: December 17, 2008 11:57 am
* Finally, the Rockets showed how dangerous they can be if everyone is healthy. Yao was unstoppable, Tracy McGrady had his fourth career triple-double, and Ron Artest played a crucial role coming off the bench in a 108-96 victory over Denver.
* Those who took issue with my accolades for Derrick Rose will delight in the fact that D.J. Augustin (29 points, 7 assists) outdueled the Bulls' No. 1 pick (7 points, 6 assists) in the Charlotte Bobcats' 110-101 overtime victory over the Bulls.
* I was standing outside the visiting locker room in Philadelphia last Wednesday night when the 76ers' medical staff, led by team doctor Jack McPhilemy, ventured inside to examine Zydrunas Ilgauskas' foot and X-rays thereof. Little did I know how stunned the doctors were when they viewed the X-rays. Bob Finnan of the News-Herald explains. (Link courtesy of TrueHoop.)
* Interesting decision for the Warriors when Monta Ellis comes off the suspended list Friday. Who gets waived or traded to clear a roster spot? Even though Ellis won't be ready to play until sometime in '09, Golden State needs to make room on the roster. Matt Steinmetz makes a solid case that the decision will provide insight into how much GM Chris Mullin's power has diminished. Mullin is believed to want Marcus Williams to stay, but coach -- and perhaps soon-to-be-GM Don Nelson -- wants to keep Rob Kurz. If Kurz stays and Williams goes, you'll have your answer.
Tags: Charlotte Bobcats, Chauncey Billups, Chicago Bulls, Chris Mullin, Chris Paul, Cleveland Cavaliers, D.J. Augustin, Dallas Mavericks, Derrick Rose, Don Nelson, Donnie Walsh, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Mark Cuban, Memphis Grizzlies, Mike D'Antoni, Monta Ellis, New Orleans Hornets, Ron Artest, Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Posted on: December 15, 2008 10:44 am
* Most intriguing game on the slate by far Monday night is the Knicks at the Suns -- Mike D'Antoni returning to the team he nurtured to 58 wins a year the past four seasons. Turns out D'Antoni is missed in the Valley of the Sun. Phoenix continues to struggle under the defensive-oriented, halfcourt approach favored by new coach Terry Porter. What's astonishing is not so much the record (14-10) -- all teams have their peaks and valleys -- but the discontent that is boiling in the locker room. The Suns are so unrecognizable to Steve Nash that he feels like he's been traded. The subplots are thick. D'Antoni had some choice words for Suns owner Robert Sarver over the weekend, but D'Antoni doth protest too much. Everybody should know that he came out of Phoenix smelling like roses, given that Sarver and Steve Kerr conspired to force a style on him he didn't want to play. Who was the coach, anyway? If things keep going downhill, eventually the coach could be Kerr, who keeps coming up with these harebrained ideas.
* It's Money Back Guarantee Day in the NBA; Monday is the first day players who signed contracts this past offseason become trade-eligible (as long as 90 days have passed since they signed their deals). Among the players in that category are Baron Davis, Corey Maggette, Elton Brand, and Monta Ellis. A person familiar with Golden State's situation said the Warriors are, indeed, fielding offers for Maggette -- as difficult as it will be to trade a player in the first year of a five-year, $50 million contract.
* The Lakers (20-3) joined the Celtics (22-2) and Cavs (20-4) on the 20-win plateau, easing past Minnesota 98-86. The best part about Kevin McHale coaching the T-Wolves is that, like Isiah Thomas the past two years in New York, he'll now have to meet with the media three times a day and explain, for example, why he traded O.J. Mayo for Kevin Love. Thanks to TrueHoop for linking us to McHale's comments in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "Kevin's a 20-year-old rookie," McHale said Sunday. "He really brings a lot of stuff: great energy, a nice basketball feel. He's learning all the time. With all these kids, there's a learning curve that goes into it and you've got to be patient while he learns."
* Which segues nicely into the Grizzlies' fourth straight win, 102-86 over Miami, fueled by Mayo's 28 points. With five coaches sent packing already, it's nice to see Marc Iavaroni climb off the canvas and turn things around. Rudy Gay (18 points) was back in the starting lineup as Iavaroni played small Sunday night. The Grizz are expected to take another step toward the future with a buyout of Antoine Walker. (Or at least Antoine has that impression.) Also, let not your hearts be troubled, Grizzlie fans, by the team's decision to sign troubled former No. 3 overall pick Darius Miles to a non-guaranteed contract. It's basically being handled as a short-term tryout, a person with knowledge of Memphis' plans told me. The Grizzlies also will be looking to the D-League to bolster the back end of the roster.
* The Hornets showed why they lead the league in 3-point shooting, hitting 12 from beyond the arc in a 99-91 victory over Toronto. James Posey accounted for half of them. To borrow a phrase from the great Clyde Frazier, New Orleans is beginning to percolate with eight wins in its last 10 games.
* Gotta love the media biz. Columnist gets scoop on former coach ripping previous employers. Not to be outdone, previous employers circle wagon and feed aforementioned columnist material for follow-up column asserting that previously ripped team is on the right track. Welcome to my world!