Golden State Warriors v Boston Celtics

Monta Ellis did not demand a trade. Yet anyway.

11 Comments

While it appeared Monta Ellis was being shopped around like a ShamWow in recent weeks, that appeared to be more of a gauging of interest move by the Warriors. They were trying to see what they could get if they decide to move him.

But does Ellis want out of Golden State.

Right now he wants to be a Warrior, but he wants more than just words from new owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, according to David Aldridge at NBA.com.

During the hour-long (meeting between Ellis and team management last Thursday) he did make it clear that he didn’t want to be around for the meat of his prime if Golden State’s new ownership group was no more committed to making the roster better than the old regime. He did say that if the team wasn’t doing any better by the trade deadline next February, he’d like to be sent somewhere where he’d have a chance to compete. In the meantime, he’s all in with the Warriors and Mark Jackson, who reportedly has called him twice already to insist he’ll be on the roster next season.

Call it a demand with an asterisk. I still think he’s getting moved after the lockout ends, though, and especially after the Warriors took Washington State’s Klay Thompson in the first round last week…

To the new owners credit, they seem far more committed to winning. They have dumped the old regime — including coach Don Nelson — and seem to be trying hard to change the culture of the franchise. You can question the wisdom of hiring the untested Mark Jackson as coach, but that is another sign they are seriously trying to change things.

Part of that is shaking up the roster, too. And Ellis may well be part of that shakeup, no matter what he wants.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

1 Comment

Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.

Russell Westbrook: ‘Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—’ (video)

2 Comments

Did Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant talk during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night? Westbrook said no, though video and first-hand accounts indicate otherwise.

Even more clearly: Westbrook – who walked near teammates Enes Kanter, Anthony Morrow and Jerami Grant – didn’t want someone talking to someone as they left the floor after the game. ESPN caught Westbrook saying, “Don’t say what’s up to that b— a—.”

You will never convince anyone Westbrook is referring to anyone but Durant.

Russell Westbrook commits epic travel (video)

Leave a comment

Between getting laid out by Zaza Pachulia and apparently talking with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook committed a travel for the ages.

The Thunder guard took an inbound pass against the Warriors and just started walking up court without dribbling. The violation was so blatant, NBA officials even called the travel.

And it’s not as if they’re inclined to blow a whistle in that situation. Before Westbrook, Kemba Walker set a high bar last season, but he got away with this walk:

Are Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant on speaking terms after apparent conversation? Westbrook: ‘Nah’ (video)

2 Comments

Russell Westbrook deleted Kevin Durant‘s goodbye text and, months later, told the whole world they still hadn’t talked.

That apparently changed during the Warriors’ win over the Thunder yesterday – though not if you ask Westbrook.

Westbrook dunked in the third quarter, and according to ESPN commentator Mark Jackson, Westbrook told Durant, “Don’t jump.” Anthony Slater of The Mercury News also wrote of the same quote.

ESPN’s telecast caught Durant clearly speaking to Westbrook shortly after. It appears Westbrook is talking back, but his back is to the camera.

After the game, Westbrook denied the exchange:

 

  • Reporter: “Are you and KD on speaking terms?”
  • Westbrook: “Nah.”
  • Reporter: “You guys had a little exchange in the third quarter.”
  • Westbrook: “What exchange?”
  • Reporter: “You and KD said something to each other.”
  • Westbrook: “Oh. You gotta maybe sit closer to the game. You maybe didn’t see clearly.”

This is so Westbrook – stubborn to the point of denying reality.

That approach worked for him when everyone rightly told him he was a significantly lesser player than Durant. Westbrook ignored that fact until it became false.

I suspect he wants to forget this exchange so he can maintain a cold animosity toward someone he prefers to resent.