"What a game to tie the record. Unbelievable. It had about everything you’d want, from good to bad to playing great to wetting the bed, and we did about all of it. Somehow we prevailed."
I came up with a new name for the team. The Golden State D-Leaguers.
"That's about the only good thing I've done this year," Nelson said, "and I hope that will continue for (next season). Morale has been good. ... After a tough loss, we come together and have a pretty good practice, and everybody gets along."
A few minutes later, Monta Ellis finished shooting and came to the sideline. He must have left his happy face on the floor. In a tense 2 1/2 minutes, he contradicted pretty much everything Nelson and the Warriors had said about him over the last two weeks. The comments might have been the best defense Ellis has ever played.
"I tell you what's been disappointing. That I can't be myself anymore. That I have to be careful what I say because everybody reads so much into whatever it is I try to be honest about that I can't even talk about things that I used to. I used to be very free with the media. Very open, free and honest, and I'm not allowed to do that anymore. That's probably the worst thing that's happened."
In the very Bay Area market he twice has conquered, as coach from 1988 to 1995 in the days of the panting scoreboard with Run TMC and then returning in 2006 to marshal the We Believe Warriors to the stunning '07 playoff win over the Mavericks, Nelson is taking a public-relations beating. He is sure the cause is inaccurate reporting from two beat writers and the bloggers, particularly San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami. Accurate, inaccurate, somewhere in between, Nellie has been getting hit hard.
I was very concerned that he would maybe never be the same player again, because it was a very severe ankle (injury) — he severed two tendons in his ankle, and they had to surgically repair them and put pins in them and a whole bunch of stuff — and I was thinking he may never be the same again, but I can assure you that he will be. I’m watching him in practice and he’s coming back way faster than I thought. . . . I think he’ll be the same Monta we’ve grown to love and enjoy watching.
His days of playing 40 minutes a game are over. For his body, his hamstring, less minutes are important for him. We've got to get him consistently playing, so if he feels good tomorrow, we'll see how that goes.
He had one of his best years when he was a sixth man. He'll do whatever we need him to do, so it's no problem with him personally.
"Last year, we were very single-minded in trying to make the playoffs. It's what the organization wanted to do, to make the playoffs again, and we tried to do that and we failed. Part of my job next year is to bring these guys [Brandan Wright and Marco Belinelli] along, and if it costs us some games, which it probably will, then that's what it'll do. I'll have to prepare myself mentally for that, but I think it's the right thing to do. They're to future of the team." -- Warriors Head Coach Don Nelson
Noooooooo! Fight the power Nellie. We Believe Playoffs. As Herm Edwards would say "YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!"