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Warriors Checking Ellis’ Story

No one really knows the details around Monta Ellis’ ankle injury, other than he hurt it working out. That has the Warriors a bit worried, according to sources. They are checking out his story behind the scenes.
Ellis told the Warriors last Thursday that he had injured his left ankle working out in Jackson, Miss. But as of Wednesday, the day of the surgery – which will have Ellis out for three months minimum – not even Chris Mullin knew exactly what happened. No he-landed-on-someone’s-ankle. No foot-got-stuck-changing-directions. Mullin’s only response was that “I was told he was working out in Jackson.”
Ellis’ injury was pretty bad, which has team officials, according to sources, question whether he actually sustained such an injury working out or playing pick-up. Ellis had surgery on Wednesday in Alabama to repair a torn deltoid ligament in his left ankle. He also sustained a severe high ankle sprain.
Of course, we have seen some bad injuries on the court (see: Shaun Livingston), so Ellis’ injury could have been a freak accident. His neck injury last summer in training camp was also similarly freaky, though the results were not as severe.
This is all important because Ellis just signed a six-year, $66 million contract late last month. If he was doing anything to violate the morality clause in his contract when he got hurt, the Warriors could go after his contract. They could also fine or suspend him.
The reality is, though, if Monta can regain his old form, it is unlikely they would void his contract because he would become a free agent and the relationship would be strained. But if he can’t play again, or this ankle ends up a long-term problem, they could look to get their money back.
To be sure, the same sources said Monta is expected to recover and everything to be fine in the end.

Marcus Thompson

  • Rick S

    The fact of the matter is weather he got hurt working out or playing a pick up game, “it is what it is”.

    There are many NBA players that do play in pick up games in NYC. They pay at W4th and Rucker.

    An injury can happen just by walking down the street.

    To even mention that GS would even attempt to void his contract is a waste of time.

    Monta is going to be great in this league and will be an all-star for many years to come. This is just a 3-4 month set back which could happen to anyone.

  • commish

    Great :-(

  • GSWFan24

    The Warriors are just ruling out the possibility of him not being honest about how he got hurt…rather it be riding a motorcycle or some non basketball related injury. Sounds wierd that nobody has come forward saying they seen it happen though?

  • OliverStone

    Could Monta have been helping Jeff Kent wash his pick-up truck???

  • petaluman

    I’m guessing the Warriors are just doing their “due diligence” in the unlikely event that the injury is worse than reported. Perhaps the contract is insured, and they could get receive some compensation under certain circumstances.

  • Who-Da

    How’s about some ‘due-diligence’ from the reporter community? Talk to a medical expert about how this kind of injury ‘might’ occur. Find out if/when this sort of injury occurs most frequently–what activities are involved?–and let us know instead of providing a little tease.

  • Steve in Concord

    Isn’t playing basketball in a pick-up game considered “practice”? I doubt Monta was popping wheelies on a motorcycle or bouncing on a pogostick. Stuff happens on a basketball court. Just ask Shaun Livingston or Manu Ginobili.

  • JustPuked

    Nice scoop. The news room at the Baltimore Sun has nothin’ on you.

  • drew

    if monta is not the same, if he is not as fast or he has grant hill ankles, i definatly would hope the warriors have some recorse.They guarnteed his money with some rules. NO RISKING YOUR HEALTH. the giants should have fined kent, and if monta was riding a motorcycle or playing pick up hoop with his boys, the team is not paying for that. pick up ball is not training. He could have been pushed by a hater or something. He was exposing his body to risk which is a violation of his contract.

  • Niners in 2009

    Me thinks Marcus knows something, come clean buddy.
    :)

  • bob

    If there is something in his clause about this stuff, he should have known better. The Warriors need to make an example of this kid if it is the case. I know these are grown men, but they getting paid millions to play a game. They need to be committed to those who feed their familys, not the smoes in pick-up games.

  • manhattanproj

    i seriously doubt he injured the ankle that badly working out. i bet he wouldn’t have “worked out” the same way last year. you never know how the ankle will turn out or how well it recovers, it could linger or ellis could lose his explosiveness.

    if i were the w’s execs, i would do the same thing just in case that 66 mil turns into street clothes benchwarmer. at least they could void or recoup some of that money.

  • Wilson

    I think playing in a pickup game is acceptable. How else are you going to stay sharp? What the Warriors are looking at is whether he was skateboarding or motorcycling or skydiving or one of the non-basketball activities outlawed by his contract.

  • ROWELL

    Will it ever stop, Marcus?
    Get your resume updated.

  • forepj

    Various sources have called this report which apparently came via ESPN into question? Care to comment MT?

  • Chief Notahak

    Why is Tom Abdenour’s name now out of it? I thought a team source told you he was being sent to Jackson… turns out hes in South Africa… whats up with that?

  • http://contracostatimes btownwarrior

    Marcus,

    I hope this is the truth and not jsut a fabrication to create news over the summer. If it is to make news, I hope it wasn’t you that started the rumor…

    “how do rumors get started? They get started by the jealous people…”

  • Marcus

    People. People. Calm down.
    First off. They don’t pay me enough to fabricate stories! I have much better things to be doing with my time – like playing with my 14-month old daughter – than making up stories about Ellis.
    Secondly, one report (mine) says the Warriors are investigating and they sent Tom Abdenour to Jackson, Miss. The other report (the S.F. Chronicle’s) says they didn’t send Tom Abdenour to check on Ellis. Which one will you believe? That’s up to you. I don’t mind either way.
    I do stand by my story, however.
    ROWELL, Forepj, Chief Notahak, Btownwarrior – and everyone else – I certainly respect your questions and even appreciate you asking them. But I would ask you three questions, then you decide the validity of my story:

    1. Did the Chronicle story say the Warriors ARE NOT investigating Ellis’ explanation?

    2. It said Abdenour has been in South Africa for a couple of days. This story came out Sunday. So, let’s say he arrived in Johannesburg on Friday (Aug. 29). I’ll even give you Thursday. Let’s say he arrived in Johannesburg on Thursday (Aug. 28). Let’s say it took two days to get there. That’s a long time, but let’s say he did. Let’s say he left on Tuesday (Aug.26). My question: When did Ellis hurt his ankle?
    I’ll answer that. Last Thursday. Not this past Thursday, but the Thursday before that, August 21. Remember, Monta had surgery this past Wednesday. They spent a week seeing if he would need surgery.
    Possible Abdenour went to Jackson during that five days before he left to South Africa? Any chance he could’ve left from Jackson? It is going that way.

    3. My story said the Warriors declined comment. Sunday’s Chronicle story had the Warriors saying he is in South Africa. My question: Why do you think they didn’t comment for my story, not even to refute it, but commented in the Chronicle story? Why not tell me, “Marcus, that is not even possible, Tommy’s in South Africa” and nip the story in the bud?

    Before I let you go, notice who wrote the Ellis story? Vic Tafur (Who I will say for the record is fine by me. He’s always been friendly to him and I have love for him). Why not Janny Hu, the beat writer? Because she’s on vacation, like the other beat writers during this time of year. Trust me, I would much rather be taking this time off, preparing for training camp and a long season, then writing a story about the Warriors investigating Ellis, let alone making up such stories.

  • ROWELL

    Whole lotta “I don’t know anything” there.
    That’ll do.

  • Marcus

    Just got off the phone with the Warriors (name another reporter who will call the team on a Sunday so your blog questions can be answered?). Here’s the deal. The Warriors did confirm to the Chronicle that Tom Abdenour is in Johannesburg. But, as I suggested earlier, that does not exclude my story.
    The team official said Abdenour DID GO to see Monta after his injury. The team’s official word is that he went to help Ellis get prepared for surgery, which the official said is routine procedure.
    The Warriors, per team policy, still aren’t commenting on the situation. The team official would not confirm or deny whether there was an investigation, or if Abdenour was checking out Ellis while down there as part of an investigation.

    ROWELL,

    You’re a hater. I love it! :o )

  • ROWELL

    You put the whole story down as a team investigation with Monta’s current status being in question, contractually and otherwise, and NOW you check facts to find out that Abdenour was ALREADY there, not headed now to look into Ellis’ story?

    I think I’ll turn elsewhere from now on.
    I don’t need the hater/lover lines coming at me from journalists who should have their facts straight before they report them.

    Thanks anyway.

  • Marcus

    ROWELL,

    You must’ve misread the article or put your own inputs into it. If you look at the story in the paper (http://www.contracostatimes.com/warriors/ci_10339116) or the one on this blog post, you will see I did not ever say Monta’s current status is in question, contractually and otherwise. I said two things: 1. the Warriors are investigating his explanation about his injury; 2. they sent Tom Abdenour to check him out.
    Neither of those statements have been disproved, or even refuted.
    If you want to get your information elsewhere, more power to you. It is/was a pleasure having you on the blog (I personally love the debate and the back-and-forth) and you are welcome back whenever you want. Post as many comments as you want, question my stories/opinions all you like. I mean that.

  • ROWELL

    Again, good luck generating hits.
    Deleting posters’ posts is another sign you’re in this for your ego.

  • http://contracostatimes btownwarrior

    Marcus,

    I hope youa re enjoying the 14 monther, I ahve an 8 monther myself. Knowing how much tie it consumes, can you verify your story first!

    Thanks…

  • Andy

    Shouldn’t Ellis be spending the entire summer working on his jumper and his handle? You know, things that would make him better? Possibly he could eventually be WORTH 11 million per year.
    I need his agent at my next review.

  • Marcus

    ROWELL is under the impression that his post was deleted because I am saving my ego (as if his other comments boosted my ego). Wrong again. All of the people on here who have taken a shot at me know better. Nonetheless, here is his last post.

    “You tell yourself what you need to. This is it from me. Good luck generating hits.”

    Btownwarrior,

    I remember the 8-month stage. That was the rough part. Anyway, my story was verified. By multiple sources. What more do you want? The Warriors aren’t going to talk about it. It hasn’t been disputed or refuted. That’s all I got right now. If and when I get more, you’ll get more.

  • beau

    It’s a nonissue. The only way this becomes a problem is if Ellis has a Jay Williams injury that essentially ends his career. This is when they will try to recoup money. But for us, as fans, who cares, b/c at that point the warriors centerpiece and potential top 10 NBA player will be done, and they’ll be stuck in 15 wins a season again. Of course they’re checking into it, but the story itself and then this weird bitter backlash from readers only indicate that this is nba slow season. We’re dying for anything, trite little kernels of information that we can turn into something far bigger than their actual worth, all of which will fall by the waistside when they start to actually play. Marcus, you only get screwed for working too hard as a journalist my friend. Did we not catch the 5th season of The Wire? You’re keenly aware of W’s fans ravid interest in ANYTHING warrior related, so you diligently seek things out. While Ellis’ Injury is big news, the warriors investigation of that injury and any possible repurcusions only becomes vital if/when we find out that injury will end his career. Right now, it just opens you up for the specious criticisms above.

  • Devil’s Advocate

    Marcus,

    Did the Warriors say specifically that they were “checking out Monta’s story”? I think that is where I am getting confused. Was this just an inference you made?

    I can give you that Tom A. went to visit Monta but that doesn’t mean he was there to “check out his story”. He could’ve been there for other reasons.

    I realize in the real world investigations happen when 66 mil. is involved. There is a difference between that and factually knowing an investigation took place. I’m trying to figure out if you have a reliable source who made these claims or not. Claiming that the W’s didn’t refute it isn’t enough.

    By the way, I am guessing you have a reliable source. Please have a nice weekend. None of this is important.

  • Deezy

    Yo Marcus. Keep doing what your doing bro. I believe that we do have some haters in the building and if they want to get information without going out and doing it THEMSELVES they should just shut up and take the info they can get. I think you’ve been polite enough and shouldn’t bother with people like that. And with getting “hits”, I don’t think getting one less hit from someone like ROSWELL is going to hurt this site in any way. So I’ll leave with saying “GOOD RIDDANCE HATER” and more power to ya.

  • DJ

    Hey Marcus, any updated news on our possible interest in Shaun Livingston?

  • http://contracostatimes.com Geoff Lepper

    Marcus,

    I appreciate your efforts to report the best available information you have on the Warriors and their players. You efforts are head and shoulders above the self serving “crap” that Tim Kawakami puts out for the San Jose Mercury. One of these days the sports editors at the Mercury will finally come to the realization Kawakami has just been stealing money masquerading as a reporter.

  • http://contracostatimes.com Geoff Lepper

    Marcus,

    I appreciate your efforts to report the best available information you have on the Warriors and their players. Your efforts are head and shoulders above the self serving “crap” that Tim Kawakami puts out for the San Jose Mercury. One of these days the sports editors at the Mercury will finally come to the realization Kawakami has just been stealing money masquerading as a reporter.

  • http://contracostatimes Truman Edwards

    Ellis is a complimentary player next to jackson,and thier are not enough balls on the court for Mr.jackson.
    Warrior nation has bigger fish to fry, like the messy break-up with your only all-star Baron Davis, the west is getting better,and your coach who we all no will not depart with the worse offense ran in the NBA. Small ball is a dying breed of offense in the NBA, but continue to run it and get pimped slap by Lakers,Hornets,and anyone else that wants to stand in line. So do something about it or sit back and take it like a man. Monta’s injury is not the main problem,its Nellie’s asinine approach in the off-season that the real concern should be.His outrageous draft picks, which if there was a bigfoot. I’m sure he would try to draft him, Just wanted to point out the bigger problems like trying not to become the next Grizzlies of the west.But dont be mad at monta, I would fake my injury not to play on this team too. All-Star…Ellis? There wont be one player on that roster but when warrior nation dreams they dream big!

  • http://contracostatimes btownwarrior

    Looks like your multiple sources made it up as much as you did MT. Warriors have issued a statement (to ESPN) not even to the local media, stating there is no investigation.

    next time you publish something liek this can you please call the warriros and check your facts, before slandering a young man such as Monta!

    Thanks!

  • Marcus

    Btownwarrior,

    C’mon. You are smarter than that. If the Warriors “released a statement” wouldn’t it go out to everyone? Or are they going to “release a statement” just to ESPN?
    What if I told you that statement ESPN is referring to is the statement they read in the S.F. Chronicle’s story? Would that change your mind?
    There are no new statements. No new confirmations. If they did release a statement, I would have to write a story about it.
    But they won’t release a statement. You know why? It’s not their policy (and they would be practically admitting I’m right by releasing a statement since I ASKED THEM BEFORE I RAN THE STORY). You did see the “WARRIORS DECLINED TO COMMENT” part of the story, right? Why would they confirm or deny the story two days after I asked them to confirm or deny, unless they are trying to discredit me?
    Trust me. They are not that kind of organization. They don’t like stuff I write sometimes, probably most times. But they are professional. They understand the business and they don’t go out crusading against reporters, especially one of the two reporters who follow them practically everywhere. I have seen things written in other places that were dead wrong and the Warriors never released a statement to deny it. I have written things they contend is wrong, and they never refuted it to another organization before. That’s just not how they roll.
    Here’s what happened. The Chronicle saw a story on NBA.com that said Abdenour was in South Africa. They called the Warriors, asked if it was true, the Warriors official said yes. The Chronicle wrote the story as if the Warriors were disputing whether Abdenour ever went to the South. Apparently, ESPN didn’t see the comment on my blog clarifying from the same team official that Abdenour DID GO TO SEE MONTA, because ESPN added to its old Ellis story that the Warriors “released a statement.” But they even added to the Chronicle story. They said the Warriors’ statement said they “did not send Ellis” to see Monta, which is totally incorrect. As a result, you read the ESPN report and posted a snipe to me on this blog, disregarding the fact that I had already confirmed it through the Warriors JUST FOR YOU that Abdenour did go to see Monta.
    I can’t tell you what to believe. But my story STILL stands unrefuted. Just in case you have any doubts, I just confirmed with the Warriors that “we have not released anything.” See, Btownwarrior, once again, I went the extra mile for you. Making calls on Labor Day because I want you to have the correct info. And because my wife and daughter are still sleep and I have some time to kill.
    As far as me slandering Monta, that certainly is not the case. I’m a big fan of Monta. Have been since he arrived. He knows that. His people knows that. But I have to do my job. Being a young Black man, I have a harder time than most reporters writing about other young black men. I have no problems doing my job, but I have to approach this with extreme caution because of my underlying allegiance to young black men. Which is why I made sure I heard the same thing from multiple sources before I printed it.

  • Marcus

    Devil’s Advocate,

    I had multiple team sources telling me Abdenour went to and did check out Ellis and how he got injured. Sure, he went down there to help set him up for surgery. But are the two things mutually exclusive?
    You say you’ll give me that Tom. A. went down there but that doesn’t mean they went to “check him out.” I’m saying just because he went down there to set him up for surgery doesn’t mean he didn’t “check him out” and report back to the team.
    Yes. Abdenour went to see Monta. The Warriors OFFICIALLY said he went to help Monta get set up for surgery. My sources said he was also there “checking out” Monta.
    I believe my sources are reliable. I wouldn’t have wrote it if I didn’t think so. My editors wouldn’t have published it if they didn’t agree with me (and I will say we have a much higher standard than most, which is frustrating for me most times).
    I don’t know what else I can do to make you believe it or not. Just go with your gut, I guess.

  • Ishak

    Marcus, I love the reporting. These negative commenters are just fanboys defending their guy. I have been researching why did it take 6 days between injury and surgery. That seems like a long time to me. Your scoop is enlightening to say the least. I did not know that Monta informed the Warriors that he injured his ankle on the same day he reported it. I thought there was quite a delay between when Mully knew about it and it actually happened.

  • http://contracostatimes btownwarrior

    Marcus,

    I have actually met you before and appreciate your dedication to the story and to young black men. I also appreciate you following up with the warriors for ME…(funny ME also means Monta Ellis…lol)

    I guess what I am getting at is yes the Warriors did look into the injury of the new 60 million dollar man, who wouldn’t? The point I am trying to make is more one of integrity and the impact such an article has had on the reputation of monta and the warriors. have you tried calling Monta to hear his version?

    I am not a hater, I just realize the impact one story can have on a career and a reputation. I hope you keep up the diligent reporting and supplying us with valuable information. But can you please let us know more explicitly when you are inferring and when you are stating facts?

    One last point MT, you say that if they issued a statement they would be confirming your story, so does no statement mean that they never investigated the injury? did your sources say that they investigated or just sent Tom A there?

    Monta was a young man everyone trusted, now is he seen as a lesser person?

    For Ishak,

    Usually with ligament injuries some time must elapse in order for the swelling to go down, before he can be cut.

  • http://contracostatimes.com Geoff Lepper

    Marcus,

    The Warriors will need to be able to demonstrate due diligence to the insurance carrier that is financially responsible for Monta’s contract in the event an injury claim needs to be made in the future. I don’t doubt Tom Abdenour did help Monta prepare for surgery but let’s not lose sight of the fact he went to Jackson Mississippi as a long time employee of the Warriors and reported his findings back to the team before continuing on to South Africa. Abdenour’s visit to Mississippi is not a question of trust but rather NBA business procedure because $66,000,000 of Warrior money is at risk if the insurance carrier responsible for Monta’s contract is not satisfied.

  • petaluman

    It’s entirely appropriate for Tom Abdenour to want to know the circumstances of Monta’s injury. As the team trainer, he will be heavily involved in the rehabilitation process.

  • Philmo

    I feel sorry for myself and other warrior fans since we have to put up with such horrible beat writing. The 49ers have two really good beat writers and all we have is egotistical writers who either regurgitate each others stories or fabricate their own without doing the proper research.

    It’s a pretty sad state for Warrior fans when TK is the best writer.

  • Chris Cohan

    Lepper was canned in the midst of a serious union dispute. He was a proud and vocal, and smart, union dude. No muck to rake on the causes of lots of cannings, coincidentaly of several high level union reps/supporters (just sayin), but he was good and now he’s not here and no really good explanaiton has ever come down the pipes. Hope he’s OK. He was good.

    Obama 08

  • Who-Da

    I agree with the prognosis given above. Believe this: Someone is going to investigate. No hard feelings, but the insurance group, the team, somebody is going to check out eyewitness statements and such…

  • Who-Da

    Oh, yeah CC: This is true. Lepper (look for a guild newsletter online–it is fairly obscure). Lepper was part of a guild move and that got him–and others–canned as you say.

    Don’t you just love modern corporate status quo?

    Cheers.

  • Peachruss

    Marcus,

    Love your blog. The 14-month old baby explains why you may not update as much as some others.

    To your credit, you were the only source I read anywhere that said that the Mo Evans deal was alleged and not confirmed.

    I hope the Monta thing turns out to be a non-issue.

  • Peninsula’s PooPoo

    Marcus,

    These commentors are a bunch of morons. Keep doing your job you are providing valuable info to the REAL Warriors fans. The fact that you even praised Janny Hu in your discussion of the rival SF Chronicle showed me that you’re all about the integrity of your profession.

    Why don’t idiots on here get heated about more important issues, like… I dunno… how John McCain had the nerve to select the mayor of an Alaskan city to be his VP running mate? If we’re going to get nasty, might as well get political and talk about improtant issues.

    Not to be biased, but most of the crude Warriors fans are from the peninsula… I wish they would realize that the Dubs are Oakland’s team first. (That oughta change the course of debate here now!)

    GO DUBS!

  • Marcus

    I guess people will believe me now that Marc Stein reported it.

  • Peninsula Poo Poo

    Marcus is the man!!!! Marc Stein just confirmed everything you said, good job my man. All the haters have been proven WRONGGGG…. especially annoying ROWELL. How does it feel to be 100% wrong Rowell? I feel bad for you, Marcus nailed you.

  • OliverStone

    Marcus @ post #20 you mentioned that Tom Abdenour went to check on Monta after his injury, didn’t he see these cuts & abrasions that Stein is reporting on????

    Glad you were vindicated from all the naysayers by Steins report.

  • Who-Da

    Marcus,

    I appreciate how you slog through with the posters. That is most entertaining. Seems more blog like somehow.

    I also want to congratulate you on the scoop, but I think you could have got there from the medical evidence alone. That eversion sprain is most rare, and almost unheard of at the grade III without first having a fracture along the leg.

    Sounds like he caught his foot as he flew off the bike. Good thing he was wearing full armour, or we might be decrying his demise.

    But cheers to you all the same Marcus.

    Frank