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Let me pass to mic to my main man DT from the mighty Fear the Beard:
Welcome back to our collective delusion. For more than a month, we have been dormant, hoping for the hope to return. Instead, we have a dejected Stephen Jackson as the Grinch who stole media day. As well documented as media day was, I’ll keep this brief only slightly longer than necessary. But today does beg at least one question.
What the hell kind of team can’t even get media day right? Show up, look happy to be a well-compensated professional, say some nice things to move some tickets, and go home. But no. Not our Dubs. They’ve got to make this into a public spectacle of dysfunction. And at the center of the storm? The team’s two best players. First, you’ve got Captain Grinch telling us that, yes, he still wants out. Then you’ve got Monta telling us that, no, he doesn’t think Nellie’s backcourt plan will work. Great. Where do I sign up to give Chris Cohan that disproportionate share of my disposable income for my delusional "great time out?"
My bitterness is one thing, but in all seriousness I’ve got a little council for Mssrs. Jack and Monta. Forget for a moment that the team that currently employs you did, in fact, regenerate or foster your current relevance. Loyalty? Fine. Throw it out. But riddle me this Grinch. What NBA franchise is going to look at today’s press conference and say, "Yep. That’s the piece of the puzzle we’re looking for. A disgruntled Santa Claus who delivers ill-advised threes by the sleighload and rebels after playing one season of his most recently negotiated deal? Let’s do this!" C’mon Jack. There must be a circuit missing. Brain and mouth faster than the internal editor? Even if you want out, this makes zero sense. Monta? At least get through a backcourt fail or two before blasting the thinking.
Media day is usually a routine and heavily scripted affair — full of talking points, cliches, and vague optimism (regardless of whether it’s justified). Two years ago, the most exciting part was Jackson’s new tattoo. But this year, Monday’s event was far from routine. Stephen Jackson and Monta Ellis stepped up the the microphone and unleashed an unvarnished torrent of doubts and concerns. The honesty was equally thrilling and appalling. On one hand, it’s a deep vindication to hear two team captains express the same misgivings over the direction of the team as average fans. On the other hand, neither captain had any idea how to fix — or expressed any sense of personal accountability for — those issues. In the end, it’s an all-too-familiar story: lots of problems, few answers.
Last year it was all about Mo Moped Mo Problems. This year it looks like it's going to be Mo Problems Mo Problems.
Summary: Jackson didn’t back off of his trade request, though he didn’t say those words in order to avoid another NBA fine. He also went on to detail the reasons why–he has watched in frustration as Jason Richardson, Baron Davis, Al Harrington and many others were subtracted from the 2007 playoff team. He said he doesn’t feel bad about the surprise nature of the statement. "You’ve got to hear it some way. You want me to send an email, Facebook or something?" Jackson said. He also said he doesn’t feel it’s disloyal to sign a three-year extension (which doesn’t kick in until next season) then a year later ask out. Why not? Because the Warriors didn’t have to give him the deal. They chose to. Jackson’s right. He can be blunt. He can be undiplomatic. But he’s right in almost every way. Don’t blame him for being 10 times smarter than Rowell. Don’t blame him for wanting to play with Baron and Harrington, and for knowing how upset Monta Ellis is with the franchise. Don’t blame Jackson for desperately wanting the Warriors to acquire Amare Stoudemire, only to see that, too, fall apart, partly because Stoudemire, like Jackson, wanted nothing to do with the Warriors’ organization.
How about we blame him for being unprofessional?
We've been taking steps backs since that year we beat Dallas. I don't think we've been making progress. Everybody's entitled to their own opinion and that's my opinion. I'm not always right. I'm not trying to be right. I'm just speaking my mind on how I feel and how much I have passion for this game and I want to win.
Did Jack just hijack my mic? I've been saying this sort of stuff (and getting yelled at) since that dumb Jason Richardson salary dump.
-Q: You signed your extension after Baron and Al were gone, do you feel like you were committing yourself to this team at that point?
-JACKSON: Well, who's going to turn down that money? It's only right. I'm not stupid. I mean, I didn't go to college but I've got a lot of common sense. I'm not going to turn down that money.
I'm 31 years old now. My contract will be up when I'm 35. So that was a good position for me. I've got to look out for myself before anybody else does. I think it was the right decision for me and my family.
I'm definitely appreciative of it. But at the same time, I've got to look out for myself, because nobody else will.
I want to give Jack props for ripping off Robert Rowell and Chris Cohan, no doubt. But he signed up for The Suck. That's on him.
-Q: If this team had acquired Amare Stoudemire, would that have made things different for you?
-JACKSON: That'd been a big difference, and everybody knows that. Having an All-Star on the team, a guy that we can count on to get points in the paint, that would've been big for us. That's not disrespecting anybody on the team, but I mean, let's look at his stats and what he has done.
-Q: At a pretty critical position...
-JACKSON: And after knee surgery, after big-time knee surgery, he still came back and made the All-Star Game.
It is what it is. We didn't make the move, OK, so be it. I would've been happier with it, but who's trying to keep me happy?
Newsflash Warriors homers: No player is dying to play with the likes of "franchise cornerstone" Andris Biedrins. Someone like Amare Stoudemire? Now we're talking. That would have prevented a lot of this drama.
"Coach (Don Nelson) said the same thing to me about getting that fine (that it was ridiculous)," Jackson said. "But we're not going to beat a dead horse. They know they were wrong. I've got to deal with it. I can't beat the NBA so I've got to roll with it."
It was ridiculous, but even more ridiculous is whining about a contract and a situation that he signed up for.
Well at least someone out there thinks that Robert Rowell inked Jack extension never happened:
However, if there are more than a few missteps before the Feb. 18 trading deadline, the Heat has enough expiring contracts to try immediately to make things right with its franchise player. That, in essence, could have Quentin Richardson, Jermaine O'Neal, Dorell Wright, Udonis Haslem and several others with lapsing deals on notice. Should the Raptors struggle early, there could be another run at Chris Bosh. Should Carlos Boozer (pictured at right) continue to grumble, there could be a move for the Jazz power forward. Even disgruntled Warriors swingman Stephen Jackson could enter the equation, if Riley believes doubts are building from Wade.
Expiring contract? Well would you look at that!
"I don't have a regret about anything I've done. I don't have a regret about going in the stands with Ron Artest," Jackson said. "I say what I want to say when I feel like it, regardless of what the consequence is. That's just always been me."
I've seen 13 year olds more humble and apologetic about their mistakes than this. "Captain" Jackson is making it harder for the Warriors to get a reasonable trade deal every second he gets says what he wants to say when he feels like it. Very immature and very dumb.
Monta Ellis and Stephen Jackson spoke Monday like two spoiled brats trying to run the Warriors franchise. Or trying to run away from it. Ellis brazenly said he can't coexist in the same backcourt with newly drafted point guard Stephen Curry. Minutes earlier, Jackson didn't back down from a recent trade request and proceeded to rip the franchise's direction. His ego also ran the fast break: "I'm made for the playoffs and championships. That's what I play for. I'm Big Shot Jack." Both players are out of line. They may be speaking the truth, but these so-called "big shots" came off so selfish that it paints another dark cloud over a futile franchise. ... But they're talking like All-Stars when the Warriors haven't had one since 1997. It's not Ellis' place to say he can't share a backcourt with Curry. Coach Don Nelson thinks they can, and he will see that one way or another soon enough.
Anyone find it a little amusing that Stephen Jackson refers to himself as "Big Shot Jack"?
I'm thinking something along the lines of "Big Turnover Jack" or "Big Whiner Jack" or "Big Jack- - -" (I'll leave that to your imagination)
SJ: Jason, Matt (Barnes), (Mickael) Pietrus, keep going.
Actually pretty funny.
"He could have not shown up today, but he's here and that shows his leadership and his accountability to his teammates," forward Corey Maggette said.
The standards aren't really that high around here are they? Seriously how does a guy get props for that?
Jackson stood by them, fairly emphatically, all but overtly questioning the Warriors desire to win. He cited the constant dismantling of the organization that upset Dallas as the primary reason for his discontent. He didn’t say he wanted out again because he didn’t want to get slapped with another $25,000 fine from the NBA. But he did say he sticks by his earlier comments, his relationship with President Bobby Rowell has changed, and he stands by his statements because "he wants to win." Then Monta came out. He was usually dismissive and, thus, boring until he was asked if he could see himself and rookie guard Stephen Curry sharing the backcourt.
It's abundantly clear that Cohan and Rowell aren't that interested in winning. But it's also clear that Jackson doesn't care all that much about winning either. If he did he wouldn't have signed that crazy extension last summer. Just like Warriors loyalists- he signed up for The Suck.
Someone then jumped in and said to Ellis: "Do you understand, they (the Warriors and coach Don Nelson) say you can?" "They say you can?" Ellis repeated. "They say you can ... but you can't. I just want to win and you're not going to win that way." Nelson had said on Friday that he envisioned Ellis and Curry playing together despite their collective lack of size. Nelson said that the team planned to do a lot of scheming to help Ellis and Curry at the defensive end, but that the Ellis/Curry tandem was going to get a look. In fact, Nelson had said that the idea to use Jackson more at shooting guard this season, which was his intent at the end of 2008-09, had basically been scrapped.
Way to give rookie Stephen Curry a warm welcome Monta! (sarcasm)
-ELLIS: I don’t remember.
Riiiight. Anyone still doubting this rumor or trying to blame Tim Kawakami for making that up?
Ellis pointed out other backcourt combinations that he thought would work, like him and Anthony Morrow (6-foot-5) or him and Jackson (6-8). That seems to indicate that Ellis sees himself as the starting point guard and Curry as his backup. If an Ellis-Curry combo wouldn't work because of their size, it doesn't seem that Ellis would be able to move to shooting guard with any of the Warriors' other options at point guard. Speedy Claxton is 5-11, C.J. Watson is 6-2 and Acie Law IV is 6-3, the same as Curry. Interestingly, Baron Davis, the point guard with whom Ellis was paired during his breakout season two years ago, is listed at 6-3, 191 pounds. Curry is listed at 185.
How about Stephen Curry and Anthony Morrow as the starting backcourt combination? It's a lot easier and more enjoyable rooting for those two cats than "Captain" Moped.
When Curry was asked whether he or Ellis would defend bigger shooting guards, such as 6-foot-6, 220-pound Kobe Bryant, he said, "The whole team will guard him." It's not like Nelson and Riley are oblivious to the situation. They simply chose their words a little more carefully. "There isn't room for five point guards," Riley said. "We'll probably attempt to address the point-guard situation. You're right on it." "There are a lot of things I don't know yet (regarding the backcourt)," Nelson said. "What I do know is we'll be very small, so we'll have to compensate defensively for some of those things. "There are problems that we'll have to solve, and I don't know all of the answers at this point."
The funny thing is this the first time Monta's seemed to care about defense since 2006. Let me direct you to the 2008-2008 WWDY voting.
Q: Stephen (Jackson) talked about since ’07, when there was so much hope, you lost Jason, you lost Baron, you lost Al, that he was frustrated. Do you have any of the same feelings?
ME: This is a business. You’re not going to come back — there’s faces in here now that wasn’t on the team last year. That’s just a business. That was two years ago; we’re moving on to the 2009-2010 season. That’s what we’re talking about. The pieces that we have now. We can’t worry about what happened two years ago. That’s in the past. That’s gone. We’re moving on forward. Everybody on the same page, everybody wanna win. We can’t dwell on what happened two years ago, with the playoffs, or with the players that we have or we don’t. We’ve got to work with what we’ve got right now.
Jackson and Ellis, good friends, were making a key point: They’re both 10 times smarter than team management and they don’t care if any of us know it.
Um, we're in serious trouble if those two guys are smarter than team management.
Yes, it's a problem that Monta Ellis said on Monday he can't play alongside rookie Stephen Curry. But there's likely a bigger problem looming: coach Don Nelson might start to think Ellis is right. Not only were Ellis' comments a shot at Curry, whom the Warriors selected with the No. 7 pick in the June draft, but he also seemed to be sending a clear message to Nelson. What Ellis essentially said was that the strategy Nelson was planning on employing this season was destined to fail. And to a larger extent, it very well may have come across to Nelson, entering his 31st year of coaching in the NBA, as a slap at his offensive philosophy, of which small ball is a significant part.
Stephen Curry is about as fresh-faced as a NBA rookie can be. The 21-year old is soft-spoken and thoughtful. His lone tattoo, discreetly inked on the inside of his left wrist, is the motto of Davidson, the small college he guided to the Elite Eight in 2008. "T.C.C.": Trust, Commitment, Care. Curry might want to look into laser tattoo removal because he's a Warrior now. And "Trust, Commitment, Care" is most certainly not in the Warriors' vocabulary.
Nelson and Ellis had a conversation about the comments before the guard addressed the media Tuesday. "The only way we'd be able to play together is match ups," said Ellis, who, like Curry, is 6-foot-3 and in the 180-pound range. "That's the only way." Ellis was sure to explain that he didn't have any problems with the Warriors selecting Curry and that he knows his place his place in the organization's hierarchy. "Coach makes those calls," Ellis said. "I just play basketball."
Shouldn't that read: "I just play basketball, crash mopeds, lie about it, give a weak apology, cost the Warriors an entire season, and act like a diva"?
Seems like common sense.
Warriors world was much more tame Tuesday as training camp opened. Obviously, the hot topic was Monta’s comments. Nellie and Curry’s reactions were the most coveted. It was very clear that the Warriors sought to nip this in the bud as everyone was ACTUALLY ON THE SAME PAGE, save for a few opportunities to extract some read-between-the-lines, conspiracy theory type of drama. All three held their ground without really dissing the other. Monta was the strongest, though much more toned down. He still doesn’t sound like he’s planning on being best buddies with Curry. It sounds to me like (and this is some read-between-the-lines analysis I’ve conjured up) Monta just wants some respect.
He has a very funny way of earning it.
Happy days are ahead for the Warriors (sarcastically speaking). Training camp begins Sept. 29th and the season opener is October 28th vs. the Houston Rockets. With turmoil like this, don't expect a winning season from these malcontents....A 35-47 record is what I predict. Let's hope for Warrior fans, the numbers are reversed.
Nelson seemed determined to avoid using Mullin's draft picks as well. He kept Brandan Wright locked away at the end of the bench despite his undeniable production when he played and engaged in similar tactics with rookie Anthony Randolph for half the season.
Nellie made Wright a starter and played him big minutes till he got injured. Randolph was a flat out disaster for most of last season. Might want to do a little homework there instead of taking random shots at Nellie and heaping unwarranted praise on the random media martyr Chris Mullin. It's too bad Hollinger had to ruin a pretty solid piece with this shallow piece of analysis.
Here's a shocking stat: Only three Warriors in this season's likely rotation finished in the top two-thirds at their position in assist ratio last season. Two of them were centers who moved the ball a bit better than their peers but had little impact on the team's overall assist rate. Only Jackson, who ranked fourth among small forwards, is a legitimately good passer. Wright, Ellis, Morrow, Watson, Maggette and Azubuike all finished in the bottom 15 at their positions in assist ratio, while Randolph didn't fare much better.
Not shocking at all if you watched the Warriors last year. This team cannot make the smart pass. Actually from top to bottom they don't do many smart things period.
I understand why readers/fans would be upset with Jackson and Ellis. Jackson’s statements, in particular, on the face of it, do seem difficult to defend–sweet talk a gullible team president into handing out a three-year extension, then a year later seek to bolt the team.
In real life, that’s a betrayal and maybe true selfishness. But pro sports are not real life, the NBA in particular. The NBA is fantasy, with fantasy rewards, and NBA players work with an entirely separate set of operational values.
Players are supposed to look out for themselves and their families. They happen to be paid enormous sums of money, but you and I are also looking out for ourselves and our families first, right?
We we make 100 or 500 times less than they do, but it’s the same concept: Look out for your best interests, then the institution second.
It’s up to the team–management and coaching–to convince the players at every step of the way that they must, at some point, sacrifice some things and work at other things for the betterment of the larger purpose, that victories will result at the end of the line.
That’s what Mike Singletary has done with the 49ers, what Phil Jackson does with the Lakers (to some extent) and what Al Davis has failed to do with the Raiders for years now.
It’s what Chris Cohan, Robert Rowell and Don Nelson have failed to do with the Warriors since 2007. And you can’t ask proud, good players to support a destructive, political, scheming front office that has already coldly dispatched Jason Richardson, Baron Davis and Al Harrington… Once they see that, it’s every man for himself.
I obviously have a lot of respect for Tim and he's a friend of the fam. He's our guy.
BUT those are very curious words coming from a sharp guy. You don't have to say all that much to convince a Green Party-donating crazy leftist such as myself of the logic of individual welfare over feeding a corporate machine. However, that doesn't excuse people (ahem, "Captains" Jackson and Ellis) from being simply unprofessional. Stephen Jackson and Monta Ellis aren't exactly innocent victims here. Don't get me wrong Chris Cohan and Robert Rowell are both jokes, but Monta Ellis is the #1 reason the Warriors were unwatchable last season and a major reason for all the Warriors current dysfunction. This franchise rescued Stephen Jackson and now he's turning his back on it. This is on them, not Cohan and Rowell.
And of course there's the rumor that Monta Ellis may ask for a trade from the Warriors as well.
I’ve been wondering for a few months now when I should emerge from my hiatus and kick off the 2009-10 season of 48minutes.net. Stephen Jackson and Monta Ellis made it clear for me on Monday afternoon.
Well at least there's a silver lining here. Welcome back Geoff!
In the aftermath of the conflagration set ablaze by Stephen Jackson and, even more so, Monta Ellis, now is as good a time as any to note this fact: Just because a player has an obvious agenda when talking to the press doesn’t mean that he can’t still be correct while doing so.
Somehow, Stephen Jackson figures the fans will forgive him for taking insanely big money and then bailing on the East Bay with an eternity left on his deal. In effectively crushing Stephen Curry's spirit, Monta Ellis showed he's about as capable of leading a team as a squirrel. And the Warriors, of course, are back in that vintage Todd Fuller-Latrell Sprewell mode. It doesn't get much worse than that. Jackson is being praised in some quarters for exposing the Warriors' incompetence, but that's a tired, worn-out story, like reminding people we sent too many troops into Vietnam. This is about betrayal, and how to recover from a debacle that gained such awful clarity Monday. The Warriors are in a position where they must trade Jackson, well before the season starts, and Ellis is about one comment shy of riding that same train out of town.
Monday's events have created a buzz heading into training camp, which begins today. What happens when Nelson pairs Curry and Ellis in the backcourt? Will the Warriors appease Jackson and ship him? Perhaps more important, what happens if they don't.
Biedrins can't remember the last time all was right in the Warriors world. "I don't know. That's a good question. I have to think about it," Biedrins said. "It is like it is. We just have to concentrate on playing basketball."
Props to Andris Biedrins, Corey Maggette, Kelenna Azubuike, Stephen Curry, Anthony Randolph, and Anthony Morrow, Speedy Claxton, Acie Law, Ronny Turiaf, Mikki Moore, Devean George, Brandan Wright, and C.J. Watson for not making it incredibly difficult for Warriors fans to root for them over the course of the past two days. (What a concept!)
To be frank, I'm pretty disgusted with this team. Media Day and the 1st day of practice were supposed to be the anual time to hype up delusional Warriors fans and get everyone excited and feeling happy with local fluff pieces. Do Stephen Jackson and Monta Ellis (in particular) realize that it's not exactly easy (especially in this economy) too fork over hard earned dollars (or rack up a credit card bill) to root them on at the Roaracle? Pretty inconsiderate.
Chris Cohan doesn't have a clue. Robert Rowell couldn't buy a clue even if Cohan gave him his pocketbook. It's hard enough rooting for this dysfunctional organization without the "captains" acting so uncaptain-like. Expect a few boos opening night "captains".
Maybe there's hope in the D-League?
By the way I wonder if all those media folks and Nellie haters alike are willing to step up and admit that they were wrong in demanding that POB or Mullin's other busts get minutes. Honestly Nellie knows hoops way more than you guys do. It's annoying to hear so much whining about gifting minutes to players who don't belong in the NBA or in a decent team's rotation. It's also annoying to see people group Nellie and Larry Riley with the co-heads of suck Cohan and Rowell- but that's a story for another time...