The picture that GSoM friends Marcus Thompson and Tim Kawakami have painted is not a good one:
Sources: Monta Ellis unhappy with the Warriors [Contra Costa Times]
Uncertainty, however, hangs over the reason for his departure. Some members of the organization, according to multiple team sources, believe Ellis left for more than a family matter.
Why? Ellis didn't stick around for the team photo, which was taken last Friday before the Warriors' home game against Charlotte. Also, according to the sources, he left with an amount of luggage that suggested he wasn't coming back soon.
Monta Ellis' Departure in Protest? [Inside the Warriors]
Ellis has been showing several signs of discontent lately. He, at times hasn't taken part in huddles. He's been late to shootarounds and practices without so much as an excuse. He's been known to mumble - during moments of frustration on the court, like when he was taken out late in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma City and didn't return - that the Warriors need to trade him.
The Monta Ellis/Warriors Angst: Can either side win here? [Talking Points]
How does either side win in this, presuming there is not a long-lasting happy ending in sight? I don't know, and I don't think the two sides know, either.
Jump for a quick thought...
If Monta's leave is purely based on his mother's health, then this should be a complete non-issue. However based on MT and Kawakami's indications that's only half the story. If that's the case, to tell you the truth I really don't understand what Monta camp's beef is at all.
The Warriors essentially ran two very popular players in Jason Richardson and Baron Davis out of town, so they could build the team around him and the rest of this young core. They showed their commitment to him and his growth as a player and NBA star by quickly rewarding him with a $66 million dollar deal this past offseason. The organization went out of their way to hype him up as a franchise player. As a young player in the NBA what more can you ask for?
Then Moped Gate happened. Monta violated his contract and lied about it. When his camp finally came clean and it became clear that he would be missing substantial time, Chris Mullin and Don Nelson didn't seem to think it was a big deal that Moped Ellis was going to cost the Warriors any chance at the playoffs this season and pretty much just not show up to work for half the season. As an executive that's a very odd thing for Mullin to turn the other way on. As a head coach Nellie publicly has to side with the player. Robert Rowell and Chris Cohan were understandably upset and suspended Monta for 30 games along with a 3 million dollar suspension and threatened to void his contract. I hate to say it as much as the next longtime Warriors fan, but Rowell and Cohan did the right thing here. If anything they were too soft with their punishment. Basically taking a season off isn't fair to Monta's teammates or the fans. That's a big deal. You don't turn the other way on something like that (see Blaylock, Mookie and golf).
When Monta finally came back (after some reports indicated he demanded the Warriors let him play earlier than they would have liked) he was not even close to being the 20.2 ppg (53.1% FG), 5 rpg player that the Warriors inked to that big money deal and wanted to build around. In the 13 games he's played this season to date he's played poorly and put up 13.4 ppg (39.8% FG), 3.9 rpg with a 2.8 apg : 2.5 turnover rate, which makes it difficult to project him as a long term point guard solution. He's been out the past 5 games (possibly much longer?) with ankle issues. The future does not look good for Monta's career and even the biggest optimists can only call his return to the 1 Man Fast Break of 2006-2007 and potential emergence to superstardom a huge question mark at best.
I seriously don't understand what Monta's reported beef with Nellie and Rowell is. He's completely in the wrong here and his contract is looking extremely voidable right now. The Warriors have essentially paid him 8 million this year (via fan money) for absolutely nothing this season. Absolutely nothing.
How does a guy with this horrible stretch of recent months reportedly protest like a prima dona, shun huddles, arrive late to shootarounds and practice, and whine about wanting to get traded when things are tough on the court? Just makes no sense.
Also see loyal GSoMer IQofaWarrior's FanShot.