The last major transcript of Media Day (I don’t know how Kawakami gets these done so quickly…) is that of Monta Ellis, trying his best to quash the Warriors’ great hope of pairing him and Stephen Curry together in an all-shooting, no-rebounding backcourt.
Q: How important was Don (Nelson, Warriors coach) and Larry (Riley, Warriors general manager) flying out and talking to you this summer? What was that about?
ME: Well, really, just like I said: Get on the same page. They wanted me to lead the team, be one of the leaders, and we had to iron some stuff out that happened last year that should have been ironed. Like I said, we put all that behind, us, everybody’s coming in positive, everybody’s got a great mindset, everybody just wants to win.
Q: Being a leader, does that mean being a point guard?
ME: Nope. Being a leader is leading by example. Say what I mean and mean what I say. I can’t go out there and tell nobody to do this when I’m not out there doing it myself. Lead by example. Be that leader.
Q: Have you talked to Stephen Jackson? Do you understand his situation?
ME: Like I said, that’s Stephen Jackson’s situation. That’s not mine. That’s not for me to comment on, right or wrong. (I’ll) let Stephen and the organization handle that part. Like I said, at the end of the day, when the ball is tipped off, I know Stephen Jackson is going to be there to play basketball, whether he’s here or somewhere else.
Q: You don’t think it will impact you?
ME: It’s not going to impact anybody. He got a hold on his situation. He got control over it. He’s been professional about it. Like I said, everybody’s coming in with a great mindset of just winning.
Q: Do you expect to be playing the 1 or the 2?
ME: I just want to play basketball. It doesn’t matter. You could put me at the 5. I just want to play basketball. It doesn’t matter what position I play.
Q: Were you OK with them drafting (Stephen) Curry? He’s a pretty similar player.
ME: I don’t have no problem. Like I said, whatever decision they make upstairs, that’s their decision. They’re doing it for a reason. And I wish Curry the best in training camp, get better as his career goes on. But we’re not worrying about it. We’re teammates. We’re not out here fighting for a position, because that’s not the case.
Q: Can you envision yourselves playing together in the backcourt?
ME: I can’t answer that. Us, together? No.
Q: Why not?
ME: We can’t. Just can’t.
Q: Too small? Too similar?
ME: Just can’t.
Q: You understand (the Warriors) say you can?
ME: They say you can? Yeah, they say they can. But you can’t.
Q: So you wouldn’t want to give it a shot?
ME: I just want to win, and that’s not gonna win, that way.
Q: Why do you think pairing you and Stephen wouldn’t work? Because the defense?
ME: When you’re trying to compare me and Stephen and you’re trying to go back to when me and (Baron Davis) played (together), it’s a different situation. You got a nine-year veteran who been in the game, who understand the game, know how to play the game, and he’s a big body. You can’t put two small guys out there and try to play the 1 and the 2 when you’ve got big 2 guards in the league. You just can’t do it. OK, yes, we’re gonna move up and down fast, but eventually the game is gonna slow down. So you can’t do it.
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.
Q: So as the franchise player, how do you feel about the direction to go with the young guys?
ME: If that’s what they think it’s going to take to win, then so be it. Like I said, I don’t make the decisions. The only thing I do is go out and play basketball. That’s it.
Q: Would it be fair to say as Monta Ellis goes, so goes this team?
ME: No, because you’ve got four more other guys out there on the court with you. That’s why I say to go back to holding everybody accountable. You can’t put everything on one person. Because it’s not just that one person out there. There’s five guys out there. You’ve got to hold everybody accountable, from the head coach all the way down to the last player on the bench. You’ve got to hold everybody accountable.
Q: Who would be the best pairing with you in the backcourt?
ME: We’ve got all different combinations. You could put Anthony Morrow, we could put me and Jack back there. There’s a variety of different combinations.
Q: You’ve had a lot of controversy around this organization for a couple seasons. Is it important to go into this season harmoniously, with as little drama as possible?
ME: You’ve just got to turn a negative into a positive. It’s just, everybody got to be on the same page. You’re gonna bump heads. Everybody does it. Everybody. We’re not the first organization to bump heads. We’re not. And it won’t be the last. Like I said, we’ve just got to turn the negative into a positive, everybody get on the same page and make this thing work. That’s all we’re trying to do.
Q: Is this still the place you want to be, long-term?
ME: I’m a Warriors. I am a Golden State Warriors until the day I re-sign my contract again. I am a Golden State Warriors.
Q: Why do you say that?
ME: Because I am, for the next five years.
Q: When Larry and Don did visit you over the summer, did they tell you they would not be drafting a point guard or a similar kind of guard to you?
ME: I don’t remember.
Q: Is that something you would have liked to hear?
ME: To be honest with you, I don’t feel like my job is in jeopardy at all. I don’t feel that my position, my minutes, nothing is going to be taken, because at the end of the day, I’m still going to be Monta Ellis. I’m still going to be the franchise player, and I’m still going to go out there and give you 20 points a night. I’m not worrying about that. I’m not.
Q: But they could have drafted another position.
ME: They could have. But you know how the draft is. Y’all’ve been here as long as I have. Y’all know how they do it. You take the best player possible, as you see it. He’s a Warrior, we’re gonna bring him in, open arms to him, show him the ropes like they did me, see if we can put these pieces together.
Q: How about 30 a night?
ME: I’m not gonna put a number on it. But definitely 20 a night.
Q: Your first year was your best defensively. Do you need to get back to that level to show by example the kind of defense this team needs to play?
ME: I wouldn’t say that. I say everybody should — when I say hold accountable, it means … come back and try to be better than you was last year. If you know that you needed to work on defense, then go work on defense. If you know that you needed to work on hitting a 15-foot jump shot, go work on that. That’s what I mean by holding everyone accountable for what you do, not just putting it on one person to put it all on his back.
Q: Don said you’re going to be a captain. What’s that mean?
ME: I don’t know. What’s different from being a captain? I don’t know. It’s just a title to me.
Q: Have you talked to Nelson about your concerns at playing with Curry?
ME: I don’t know what to expect. I’m just going into training camp positive and hoping we can put everything together and everybody get on one page.
2 Responses to “Monta Ellis takes the microphone”
It’s simply gotten too easy to be 100% right about everything that matters, forever.
It’s hard to disagree with the argument Ellis made about he and Curry playing together but I do disagree with the forum, Media Day.
I thought will Nellie in control, the GM and Coach would have a better handle on the players.
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