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Q&A: Tim Kawakami (Mercury News) :: 2009-2010 Golden State Warriors Preseason (Part 1 of 4)

When it comes to the Warriors GSoM friend Tim Kawakami doesn't have a problem telling it how he sees it. That's exactly why it's always fun for us to mic him up.


Pointed analysis of Bay Area sports and more!

Jump for Tim's thoughts on whether Don Nelson, Monta Ellis, and Stephen Jackson will last the entire season with the Warriors as well as the Nellie-Monta-Stephen Curry love triangle.

Golden State of Mind: Which if any of the Warriors recent big headline grabbers (Don Nelson, Monta Ellis, and Stephen Jackson) will last the entire season with the Golden State Warriors?

Tim Kawakami: I think two of the three are likely to be here for the entire season--Warriors management is afraid of what would happen in the fan base if it ever traded Monta Ellis (and remember fear is the Rowell Regime's top-driving emotion) and I don't think Don Nelson will quite quit on this team with $6M left to be paid next season. Plus Rowell also would be too afraid to fire Nelson, again, with the Fear Thing paramount.

Rowell might try to push Nelson aside--as I believe Nelson is already trying to do with Rowell--but those two might be Senseless But Equal in the mind of Chris Cohan. He's probably stuck with both of them and they're stuck with each other.

Stephen Jackson is the one who might have to go. Again, the fear thing: Rowell will appropriately fear what Jackson could do to that locker room atmosphere and less-than-appropriately fear what Jackson could do to Rowell's reputation and credibility.

In fact, it would not shock me at all if Rowell already is telling people that he really didn't want to extend Jackson's contract--that it was some other mysterious entity who did it, over Rowell's misgivings.

So I think Rowell will sign off on taking back some bad money by Jan or Feb if it means he can rid himself of the Jackson problem and Jackson is very good about making himself a problem. I think Jackson very much wants to end up in Cleveland, and the Cavs do have some bad contracts to toss around.


Golden State of Mind: How would you interpret Nelson's response to Monta's "can't rant" to the media?  Getting his "star" player's back?  Or is it so transparent that we can assume it's a cover up for another of Monta's bad preseason PR-moves?

Tim Kawakami: Cover up a controversy? The Warriors? Really? Actually, I think that Nelson is handling this relatively correctly--Monta was so blunt (and mostly correct) about not believing he could play in a backcourt with Curry, all Nelson can do is smile and say, hey, if that's what Monta feels... and still work them in together when the match-ups allow it.

I do not think Monta and Nelson are getting along, however. I think Nelson is in love with Curry as his future point guard and doesn't see Monta ever being his kind of point guard, or player, or anything. Warriors management, however, needs Monta to sell tickets, so there's another stand-off: Nelson might put Ellis in position to screw up just enough so Nelson can sell management that Curry is the real long-term answer and Ellis should be moved.


Stay tuned for the rest of our Q&A with Tim!

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