I stand corrected, I think. It didn’t occur to me that—obviously, in hindsight—media would remind Ellis of Don Nelson’s stated plan for he and Curry. As Sporting News’ Sean Devaney reports, Ellis was steadfast even in light of the reminder that no, there’s no way they’ll play together and be successful:
Reminded that the folks running the team see things differently, he said, “They say we can, but, can’t. I just want to win. We’re not going to win that way. It’s different when you are trying to compare me and Stephen to when you go back to when me and BD [Davis] played, it’s a different situation. You got a nine-year veteran who came in and understands the game and how to play the game, and he’s a big body. Can’t put two small guys out there and try to play the one and the two when you got big two-guards in the league. You just can’t do it. OK, yes we are going to move up and down fast, but eventually, the game is going to slow down. Can’t do it.”
So… I don’t know. I stand by my contention that this isn’t really a big deal, but we’re still talking about a player that openly contradicted the coaching staff in just about the most open forum possible. That Ellis is correct in his assessment makes it no more justified, and probably more problematic. Should he recant his opinions, this could easily die by Wednesday.
But if it lingers, it’s sure to spark a power struggle between the aging head coach whose best work is behind him, and the franchise player that’s not really a franchise player. All with the benign, pre-pubescent Steph Curry caught in the middle. Not fun for Warriors fans.
Will that happen? Too early to tell; Ellis’ remarks were either indicative of a few quirks from Monta, or deep frustrations about the direction of his organization. If it’s the latter, he wouldn’t be the only Warrior to feel that way (Stephen Jackson?).
SBN’s Warriors blog, Golden State of Mind, is sure to have a better pulse on what’s going on out there, so be sure to check back for their take once they get a chance to process all the news from media day.
And Warriors fans, take heart: no matter what happens, Anthony Randolph is still the best young player in the NBA not named Kevin Durant. Regardless of what happens in the backcourt, the strange effectiveness of Andres Biedrins and Anthony Randolph should be enough to keep you mesmerized.