Jax still wants out; Monta drops bomb

UPDATED: Warriors media day got really entertaining once Stephen Jackson took his seat, playfully calling the throng of media “vultures.” If you thought he was going to back off his statements about wanting to be traded, you were wrong.

Jackson stood by them, fairly emphatically, all but overtly questioning the Warriors desire to win. He cited the constant dismantling of the organization that upset Dallas as the primary reason for his discontent.
He didn’t say he wanted out again because he didn’t want to get slapped with another $25,000 fine from the NBA. But he did say he sticks by his earlier comments, his relationship with President Bobby Rowell has changed, and he stands by his statements because “he wants to win.”

Then Monta came out. He was usually dismissive and, thus, boring until he was asked if he could see himself and rookie guard Stephen Curry sharing the backcourt.

“I can’t.”

Why not?

“‘Cause I can’t.”

But why not? Too small?

“I just can’t. I can’t. Can’t win that way.”

Here is the not-from-my-memory-while-riding-home-and-blogging-from-my-phone version:

Can you see yourself playing with Curry in the backcourt?
I can’t answer that. Us together? No.
Why not?
Can’t. We just can’t.
Too small? Too similar?
Just can’t.
You know they (the Warriors) say you can, right?
(Do) they say we can? Yeah. They say we can. But we can’t.
You wouldn’t want to give it a shot?
I just want to win. That’s (pause) Not going to win that way.

Monta went on to say if coach Don Nelson – who has been saying all offseason he wants to play them together, is hoping to re-create the Ellis-Baron Davis tandem, it ain’t happening because, and I am summarizing here, Curry ain’t Baron. He doesn’t have Baron’s experience and size to make it a productive backcourt.

It’s different when you’re trying to compare me and Stephen, when you’re trying to go back to when me and BD were playing, it’s a different situation. You’ve got a nine-year veteran who’s been in the game, who understands the game, knows 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 going to move up and down fast, but eventually the game is going to slow down. You can’t do it.”

Curry said he could see the two playing together, but it depends on the matchups, intimating he believes there are circumstances the pairing wouldn’t work. But Nellie said Friday that as of right now, four of the starters are set: Jax, Ellis, Randolph, Biedrins. That leaves two most-likely
options: 1) start Curry in the backcourt with Monta; 2) start Azubuike and move Jax to SG, and let Curry back up Monta.

Nellie had said all along that Jackson and Ellis would be the backcourt. He backed off of that on Friday.

Do you look at Curry as a starter?
I don’t know that.
Who’s your starting point guard?
I don’t know that. It’ll all be determined as we go along.
Monta going to get a good look at that spot?
Oh Monta will be a starter.
At the point?
I don’t know that. What I do is we’re going to be very small in the backcourt this year. Our 1s and 2s are going to be small, so we’ll have to compensate defensively for some of those things. And do some scheming defensively to help cover that.
Morrow fits in that? He’s not too small.
Morrow’s 6-5. Not a big 2-guard.
You said last year in an ideal world you’d play Jackson at the 2.
We’re not going to do that any more because of my draft pick. So now we’re just going to be small there. That’s what we’ll be. Jack will be a 3.

Clearly, Nelson has at least hopes of Monta and Curry sharing the backcourt. And after once naming Monta the starter, he is now non-committal. But …

Option 1 is a major concession on the defensive end. Option 2 leaves Curry in a limited roll (as Monta figures to play a boatload of minutes), which is hardly what Nellie has been suggesting since drafting Curry. We also know now starting Curry won’t be a well-received strategy by the franchise player, which opens the door to more discontent.

What’s funny, Monta said he thought everyone was now on the same page. Nelson and Riley went to visit him in Memphis in June to accomplish that. And before camp starts, the coach
and the star player are already disagreeing on philosophy?

Here are the transcripts from today’s flammable interviews, courtesy of my man TK:

Monta Ellis interview

Stephen Jackson interview

Marcus Thompson

  • J Canseco

    Wow, season’s already over. Should be “exciting” in a Days of Our Lives kinda way. Yeesh.

  • Squall

    Fact is fact.

    Monta is right.

  • dubby

    Here we go again!!!!

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  • Chief_McBeef

    LOL. This little punk should be thanking his lucky stars the W’s didn’t toss his *** last year.

  • Run THC

    This article doesn’t make any sense. Since when does Nelson start rookies right away? Your option 2 has what Nelson has been proclaiming all along in moving Jax to SG. Ease up on the pre-season propoganda

  • SufferedThroughJBCarroll

    That big rock in your backyard is smarter than Monta.

    Warriors shelled out 146 million dollars worth of contracts to 3 players (Maggs-Ellis-Jack) who together couldn’t spell cat if you spotted them the c and the t.

  • RAven

    everything is blowing up in lil bobby rowell’s face.

    Monta and Jax are in concert. They’re both pushing for a trade.

    the funny part about ellis comments is that Ellis the worst defender on the team. He has no right griping about too small. Ellis can’t guard smalls or big guards.

  • http://yahoo fldsmr

    sorry ass warriors, sorry management and sorry players. Tell Monta to shut his ass up and play ball. These loud mouths making millions of $$$$$ are spoiled punks. and yes I’d tell them this to their faces.Trade SJ to Memphis or New Jersey or somewhere and see how he likes it. I wish I were in there posistion financially these guys don;t know what they have.

  • T of P

    That is one finely run organization that Warrior franchise!1 What a joke! What did Oakland ever do to deserve the Warriors AND the Raiders!! Oh well, at least we got some good music!! Oakland should start looking south for their sports fix…go Sharks!!

  • AddaToon

    Why can’t you play with Curry? Because he’ll bring your PPG average down? Grow up and enjoy your paycheck and just play the game(and DEFENSE). There’s nothing wrong with a backcourt consisting of a slasher and a deep sharp shooter.
    This team is crazy frustrating.

  • LAmen

    Wow I’m not a Warriors fan but damn you guys really need to can Don Nelson that guy is tearing the team and the organization apart with his drunk aspirations.

  • goingforthemoney.com

    Marcus, good seeing you at the Warriors media before you left. It’s not surprising that Jax is standing by his comments. The W’s brainthrust better not screw this up. They don’t have to be pressured or make a move whatsoever. As for Monta, it sounds like a setup to me. Monta obviously wants out too but he doesn’t want the pressure of being publicly scorned after the fans W’s and the fans stood by him after his deceitful ways about the moped fiasco. Nevertheless, the W’s need to play big up front. Small ball is not the answer, but can be effective when they need to take advantage of matchup. The starting lineup needs to be Beans at 5, Wright at 4, Randolph at 3, Jackson until he leaves at 2, Monta at 1. The defense would be a lot better and you wouldn’t be giving up all that much offense with the likes of Maggette, Azibuke, Morrow, Curry, Watson, coming in at the small and Tariaf, and Moore filling in for the bigs. Have a great day and take care of the little one.

  • FireTheDrunkOnTheBench

    i love monte as a player with a passion, but he as a person is really pushing me the wrong way…all i know is that monte and jadummy russel was spotted this summer together drinking “robo” (do the research if u dont know wat it is), and look at how jadummy is performing for the raiders…it might be the same for monte when hoop season start back up, thinks he is way better than what he really is…times are hard to be a sports fan in oakland right now…

  • CrustyRim

    Monta is staring out well in his leadership role. Dont give rookies any respect.

  • Twinkie defense

    The answer is simple: start Morrow at the two.


    OHHHHHHHHH BOY, here we go!!!

  • Equate

    Is this mean the Warriors is on the CLOCK???

  • Kapeket

    Monta is up to no good. Curry will be a great passthrough to open 3 pointers for Monta. He is a putz and needs to lighten up a bit.

    Like someone else said, be thankful for what you have: fans that don’t need to win the big prize to support your product. =)

  • You Know You’re Right

    The biggest mistake was not pulling the trigger on the Amare trade on draft day. Really, not going to throw in a draft pick to get a franchise PF?

    The W’s are loaded at talent in the backcourt. Morrow is the next Reggie Miller, Kelena is a stud, Monta is a stud. I know that lots of people hate on Jax, but he’s a gamer, and when it’s on the line, he shows up. Yes, he makes bone headed plays when the game’s not on the line, but he’s been known to his game winners, for and against the Warriors.

    Why all the love for Curry. Bad, bad, bad mistake. Nellie screws everything up AGAIN!!

  • S. Harvey

    Wow!! When will we be tired of Nelly and his “small ball” tactics?? It’s been the same equasion since “Run TMC” days. Have a great team one moment and break it up the next,if not that we have too many gaurds and not enough big men. Keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Garbage front office equals garbage team!!

  • mugsy

    Just shut up & play. So far your best position has
    been end & guard…end of the bench & guard of the
    water!! You need to take a memory stimulation class,
    your memory is fading as soon as you signed your fat
    contract & injured your self in your “pick-up” game &
    you had no loyalty to who signs your checks. Punk.

  • Jay

    Warriors are pathetic and always will be as long as Cohan owns them. We can only hope he sells ASAP

  • John Starks

    Unreal. The defeatist, “I can’t” attitude is shocking. He hasn’t played one minute with Curry and is already deciding it won’t work. Monta came in with such eagerness and now he’s just an angry millionaire. What happened to that positivity? How do the Warriors consistently piss off their best players? For YEARS we’ve watched our best players get mad and leave, only to become (for the most part) productive in other places. There is only one conclusion to draw…

  • Mal

    W’s management are idiots … they brought all of this on themselves by making personal moves instead of basketball moves. Don Nelson is bad news .. everywhere he goes it ends up a mess. I don’t care about the wins he has, he still has never sniffed the NBA Finals and that says something about his coaching strategy right there. Mully never would have let this happen … that’s why they fired him because he wasn’t buying Nelson Bull Sh*t. Now they have Nelly’s clone as the GM, a fool as the President and an Ass for an Owner. WOW, what a lineup!!


  • stormin9

    Why are all Bay Area teams cursed with whacko ownership? How the hell does a team go into a season with all this drama going on and win? I should really cancel my NBA League Pass now, it’s going to be a waste.

  • Lew

    Is anybody buying tickets? Sounds like this is a good year to save some money and stay away from the arena.

  • Kinglear3

    Have the Warriors hit bottom yet?

  • JimPunkrockford

    of course they can’t play together. did anyone really think they could? be serious. who guards Kobe? you can’t have those two guys play at the same time, no way.i am with GoingForTheMoney.coms idea of the big lineup, it looked really good when it got a chance at the end of last season. if this team had a visionary coach it might just surprise some people and do well.

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  • Tim

    Tell both Jack and Monte to shut up and grow up. They are paid more $ than most ticket buyers will see in 10 lifetimes to win basketball games. Monte, in particular, has much to prove. There is only one coach, and it is neither of them.

  • Fresh

    I say the Warriors void Monta’s contract, which I believe they are still able to fo since ge violated his contract. Let’s see him try to get anything near that now that he’s been exposed as a defensive liability, not a point guard, and too small to play the 2 (by his own admission). How much interest did Iverson get in the FA market??? Same atitude and AI is a better all around player.

    Jackson, I say trade him to Toronto or Utah (out of the country or to pay taxes in Utah).

    Problem is, the warriors need to clean house from top to bottom in their front office. The NBA veterans don’t like the way they treated Harington, Crawford, Baron or Monte… No rookies wanted to workout for them in hopes they wouldn’t get drafted. So rooks and vets fear the organization and coaches.

  • Wander7

    Anyone may say what they want, but Ellis is RIGHT. I don’t care if Curry is the rookie of the year next year but he is too small to play alongside Ellis as the 1 or 2.

  • joesez

    Nuts want to run the Nuts house.

    Stern may intervene and use Jackson and Ellis as examples. The league can’t have players with guarantee contracts making public demands and being insubordinate.

    This behavior will ruin the NBA’s image and Stern will protect his league.

  • Parker

    Wait a second….nobody wants Maggette starting? Muwahahahahahahaha

  • deano

    #12: I agree. Start Morrow at SG. Curry is probably not ready for 15 minutes a game, let alone 30. I hope Buike is also given a shot at SG. He played there some after JRich was traded and did well. i do not think that Jack has the quickness or ball-handling skills for SG; and, he’s too effective at SF to be wasted at another spot.

  • http://insidethebay fed up

    when mully was running team we were making progress now this new gm is running it and now were back to square one,chris sell the team u do not deserve to b an owner with the dumb decisions you make,no free agent in his right mind wants to come to a franchise with no game plan and sorry management go cal bears thats the only basketball excitement will have in the bay this year

  • joe

    fold the team. we have had enough of this sh!t.

  • Beat Counselor

    Great! Get rid of Moped Ellis and Stephen Crackson! But most importantly, get rid of Don Nelson, Larry Riley and Chris Cohan.

    This small ball business can win you games during the season, when you can take advantage of teams playing back to backs or not used to your style of attack, but it’s nothing to base a serious championship contender around.

    But really, is there anyone that even thinks that the Warriors’ goal is to win a championship? I’ve never met one.

    They just want a team entertaining enough to fill the seats during the season and to get Nellie his coveted most career win achievement. Pathetic.

    With as much talent as this team has (and it has PLENTY), this team should be way better than they are.

    Maybe if we had a coach that would actually require his players to learn a set offense so that they can have something to fall back on when they, say, have to inbound the ball after some free-throws or after a time out or after a ball gets knocked out of bound. All they know how to do is run and they can’t always be in transition.

    Maybe if we had a coach that ran an offense that worked for an open shot instead of the first one available. Nellie cracks me up. He wants his shooters to jack up 3′s and try to score as quickly as possible and then he complains that there is no ball movement.

    There’s no ball movement because everyone but the ball handler just stands around.

    And all of our opponents know that we can’t pass it into the post because our bigs can only score in transition.

    How about spending some time in practice learning post up moves?

    Larry Ellison, buy this team please! Get Jeff Van Gundy to coach! Bring order into the universe and something other than mediocrity to the Bay Area.

  • Mr B

    Monta, as I stated last year is messed up. No common sense and no team approach. Its all egos and not the team coming first. I am with #5 and 7 above.

    We got some psycho players from Harrington to now Ellis. I agree with Stack though in that the Ws keep messing up a winning team and he is clearly frustrated.

  • Dave

    You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to play PG in the NBA. For example: Jason Kidd and Derrick Rose. Monta’s book smarts irrelevant on the hoop court.

    … but i too am tired of all the drama. Trade ellis and jackson, but get some value please!

  • Earl Monroe

    I hope Nelson starts Curry, and upsets the apple cart even more.

  • Earl Monroe


    I think its a tie between Ellis and Jackson for worst defenders per minutes played,
    Maggette is a close third

  • derezee

    “…my draft pick.” classic slip…

    …but talk to Riley.

  • Earl Monroe

    Monta is ticked because he was asked to share the ball and make teammates better something he may not want to do.
    What a shame, the kid has such great talent.

  • robo

    I love Jax as a player; he’s a winner, but Warrior’s management is what it is. The W’s should trade Stephen Jackson, Acie Law, and Devean George to Cleveland for Zydrunas Ilgauskas. And then hope for a change in ownership.

    Monta and Nellie are both right – you can’t start 2 small guards. Secondly, Stephen Curry hasn’t done anything to warrant a starting position; he’s better off sharing PG duties on the 2nd unit with CJ Watson for now.

    Warriors can then start big and then go small ball with the 2nd unit. They would also have Ilgauskas’ expiring contract to go with Moore’s and Claxton’s in 2010.

    Ellis (Franchise Player)
    Azubuike (5.0 RPG, 44.8% – 3P%, 6’5” 220 lbs.)
    Randolph (5.8 RPG, 1.17 BPG, All-Star Potential)
    Turiaf (4.6 RPG, 2.13 BPG)
    Biedrins (11.2 RPG, 1.55 BPG)

    Curry (41.2% – 3P%, the next Nash?) and Watson (45.7% – 3P%)
    Morrow (47.8% – 3P%)
    Maggette (5.5 RPG, 18.6 PPG)
    Wright (4.0 RPG, 0.95 BPG)
    Ilgauskas (7.8 RPG, 0.93 BPG)


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  • stormin9

    Actually learning to play just adequate defense would go a long ways towards this team’s success. We know they can score, but to outscore every opponent, every night? Ain’t gonna happen.

  • tiredofdamnNBAplayers

    Screw the NBA and their damn stupid players. stop complaining, get your game together and have the balls to win yourself.

  • Salty fish and tofu

    I understand jacksons view point. Monta still needs to prove himself as a captain. Great way to welcome a rookie. This puts a huge black cloud over this team. Who wants to watch this team now? Management needs to pull their head out and do something to solve this mess. They just lost their fan base. I won’t be surprised if the fans boo Jackson the first game.