Monta Lives Up to His Word

Since early last season, I had been daring Monta Ellis to dunk on someone. I questioned him after almost every game about when his poster shot was coming. I playfully chided him every time I thought he missed an opportunity to make his emphatic debut as an explosive NBA guard.
Each time, in his calm and confident manner, he told me to be patient. It was coming.
I waited all last season to witness these hops he proclaimed to have, but it never came. I never doubted he could do it. I’ve seen him get up. He’s so quick with his leap, he was bound to catch someone slipping. But I gave up. I had yet to get on him about it this year.
But after the Toronto game, when he weaved through the traffic for a nice two-handed dunk, he reminded me of last year’s request. Though my desire wasn’t appeased, I gave him the nod. But after reviewing the dunk on DVR, I had to rescind my approval. I told him that didn’t qualify as dunking on someone because he blew by the first defender and double-clutched in midair to escape the on-coming shot blocker. By the time he got to the rim, there was no one there. So I told him that didn’t count. He looked at me with a bit of surprise. He shot me a smirk and nodded his head and said, ‘OK. OK.’
Then he went and posterized Leandro Barbosa.
That was nasty. That was cruel and unusual punishment. That was exactly what I needed to see to believe some of the high school tales he’s shared.
I knew he was going to try to dunk it because he didn’t throw the lob to Mickael Pietrus, who was open on the right. I could tell he had sized up Barbosa, realized he was in a bit of a zone and seized the opportunity. Unbelievable.
It was so nasty, the Suns players were talking about it in their locker room. Raja Bell shook his head in amazement and blamed Barbosa for trying to jump even though he was under the rim.
Suffice to say, Ellis proved his point. When I saw him after the game, he didn’t say anything. Just shot a stare and an expression my way, as if to say, “Now what!”

Marcus Thompson