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Camp Day 1: Monta-Curry-Nellie Triangle

Warriors world was much more tame Tuesday as training camp opened. Obviously, the hot topic was Monta’s comments. Nellie and Curry’s reactions were the most coveted.
It was very clear that the Warriors sought to nip this in the bud as everyone was ACTUALLY ON THE SAME PAGE, save for a few opportunities to extract some read-between-the-lines, conspiracy theory type of drama. All three held their ground without really dissing the other. Monta was the strongest, though much more toned down. He still doesn’t sound like he’s planning on being best buddies with Curry. It sounds to me like (and this is some read-between-the-lines analysis I’ve conjured up) Monta just wants some respect.


Why should he have to kiss up to this rookie? Why is everyone regarding Curry with all this awe? You can understand why Monta feels this way (if he even does) considering his entrance into the league. He slipped to the second round, the doubts heaped on him outweighed the praise he received, and he rode the bench for the first half of the season. Curry’s road into an NBA career has been much smoother.
Anyway, the transcripts.

DON NELSON

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Good first day?
Yeah. Good, uh, good first morning.

What did you like about it?
Good enthusiasm. We got our board work done. You know, you’re not allowed to have contact in the morning. They ran their tests. So, we got a lot done.

Monta was talking yesterday about playing with Curry, how he doesn’t think the two of them can play together on the court at the same time.

I don’t know if that’s exactly what he said. Certainly match-ups will determine that. We know we’re pretty small in the backcourt. We wouldn’t expect them to play together when we play the Lakers, for example, and have to guard Kobe or something like that. There are plenty other times they will be able to play together. But that’s a match-up situation. There are a lot of teams that don’t post their two guards. There are a lot of teams that have small two guards that play together. So, it’ll be a match-up situation. But they definitely will be playing together some. Not always, for sure.

Have you talked about that with Monta?

You can ask Monta, if you liked

How do you see these guards working out?
Our backcourt is small. I’ve already mentioned that. So I think there will be times where we will have to have a bigger backcourt. Buike’s able to play the two spot as well as the three. When that happens, he’ll play there. Then Morrow is 6-5. He’s not a giant two guard but, you know, he’s certainly average. So he’ll be playing there.

How important is it for Monta to help the rookie? Is it important for them to have a relationship?
I don’t know that they really knew each other before, you know. But it’s just like anything else. They’ll bond. They’ll become friends. They’ll learn how to play with each other and they’ll sub for each other. It will be a great relationship.

Are you encouraged by the fact that the potential starting point guard is thinking cerebrally about basketball?
“Well, he didn’t say anything that was not true. There will be plenty of times where they won’t be able to play together. There’s a lot of big guards in this league, guys 6-8, 6-9 that play the two guard in this league. That’s a little bit too much to ask for anybody that’s 6-4 or 6-2 to play the big two guards. But there’ll be plenty of other opportunities.”

Monta was saying you can’t win with those two playing together.
Again, it all depends on match-ups. I wouldn’t put them in a situation where they couldn’t succeed. But yeah, they’re both winners. They will be able to win together.

Question inaudible
Good. We’ve got a couple guys that are out, off operations and a little hobbled, a couple guys. But for the most part, everybody seems to be in pretty good shape and, uh, ready to go.

Morrow appeared to be practicing with the starting five. Was that a sign that you’re leaning that way?
I’m not leaning any way.

Could you see how when you look on the court, you could think that?
I didn’t notice it.

You had Randolph, Monta, Jack and Biedrins – four likely starters – with Morrow.
You can ask Keith Smart. He put the teams together. It doesn’t matter who plays with who. I wouldn’t make too much out of anything like that. Normally we’ll publish the starting lineup on opening day, which I know is hard for you to wait.


STEPHEN CURRY

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How was your first practice?
It’s fun. Had a little conditioning test. Got that out the way. Got right into the defensive strategy. I think that’s something they’re going to work on this year. So it was fun to get out there in front of the whole team with all the coaches.

How do you envision your relationship with Monta?
He has a lot of experience. I can definitely learn a lot of things from him. We’re different players. Same size, but we have different strengths and I think we can both learn something from each other. I’ll definitely be looking up to him for some leadership this year. I think he’s a great talent who’s going to to where we need to be.

Are there certain match-up situations in which you two can play together?I think the pace of play needs to be high. If it’s a great strength for us in that particular game, then putting us both out there might be something that the coach needs to do. It depends on the match-ups with different games, the different set-ups. I think it just depends on what coach Nelson wants on a particular night.

Has coach indicated what he wants?

No. It’s early. We haven’t really played together much so he hasn’t seen us work together. All that will come down the road when we get more into training camp and get comfortable with each other.

How much interaction have you had with Monta?

A little. I mean, through the drills, encouraging each other. In the locker room, you know, joking around and stuff like that. It’s been limited action, so I’m sure it will get stronger as the year goes on.

Did you read Monta’s comments?
I did. Something that he particular feels coming in and he wants to win. If that’s what he sees, that a bigger lineup is better, then that’s his opinion. I know coach will take that under consideration when he’s picking out lineups and different strategies. Like I said, it’s early. Who knows what our best lineup is going to be, and I know coach is going to put the best five out there. So, we’re just going to have to take it how it comes.

Were you hurt by his comments?
Not at all. No. Like I said, he’s been here. He has experience. I don’t anything about what it’s like to play in an NBA game or anything like that. And he knows how to win, what it’s going to take. So if that’s what he sees, then there’s got to be some validity to it. It all comes down to what coach Nelson wants.

Did he talk to you about the comments?
Not yet. I’m sure if need be he will explain it. But I don’t need an explanation right now.

Sounds like coach talked to him about it. Notice anything different about him?
Not really. Once practice got started, we kind of left all the stuff that happened yesterday aside and start playing and having fun on the court. When we get into real action Sunday when we play the Clippers and we find a set lineup that is going to make us the best team, coach Nelson will do it.

MONTA ELLIS

How did it feel out there today?
It felt good. My first day back. Lot of excitement. Lot of enthusiasm. You know, all positive. Just glad to be back on the court.

Coach talk to you about your comments yesterday?
Basically, what it is, is that the only way we’ll be able to play together is match-ups. That’s the only way. Point blank.

So there is a certain situation where you can see you two playing together?
Coach makes them calls and I just play basketball.

Question inaudible
Nothing to do. He just asked me about them, told me the interview was good up until that point. And, hey, it’s over with, put it behind us and move forward.

Question inaudibleIt’s no problem. It’s no problem at all. We had a great day at training camp today. Come back tonight. See what we do and just get the ball rolling.

Have you interacted with Curry?
We speak. (inaudible) It’s a job. This is what you do in training camp, you compete. It’s nothing against him. Nothing that I have a problem with him. I don’t know him. He don’t know me. But we’re teammates. We’re going to get to know each other and we’re just going to be playing basketball.

You going to help him out as a rookie?Yeah. Same way when I was here with Baron Davis and Derek Fisher. They didn’t come in here and butter me up, pat me on my back or nothing. It’s basketball. It’s serious. That’s what we do. We compete and we just make each other better. That’s all it is. We’re going to do that, make each other better, put all the pieces together and we gone roll with it.

Do you feel the effects of the turmoil in the francise?
We’re OK. What’s handled off the court is going to be handled professionally, quietly. Everybody’s on the same page. We have no problems. We don’t have no worries. Like I said, we’re just going to come in here and bust our tails to get back to the playoffs.

You prepared to deal with media all season?
Answer questions? (Laughs). I’m willing to answer whatever questions. It doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve been around the media all my life. So, it comes with the job.

So you don’t think twice about comments you make like yesterday?
Never have second thoughts on what I say or nothing. If I don’t get it out, then it’s going to build up. So, just say it, get past it and move on.

First thought about captainship?
I was very excited. Willing to take on that role. He told me he wanted me to be the guy in the locker room for him to back him up and I’m willing to do that.

Marcus Thompson

  • Captain Moped

    So who are the other captains?

  • meir34

    Good post Marcus. Important interviews. And thanks for not doing the Nellie is the most evil man in the world stuff. These answers speak for themselves and we often forget that they are mostly multi-millionaire PROFESSIONALS. Paid for what they do on the court, not expected to be geniuses or Obama level public speakers off it. Many just high school educations. I know some journalists think it’s their duty to be as obnoxious as they can be to get a slip of the tongue to make grand drama of every little player frustration. I think Nellie is well used to this. And even mellowed some since his first duty with us.

  • Squall

    Monta and Jack have made it pretty clear they don’t want to be here.

    Trade them both.

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  • King of California

    Not sure I’d want to be in the same foxhole with these geniuses.

  • sonnyg

    I think what a lot of the local writers are failing to pick up on is that Jackson and Ellis feel betrayed by the team. I think what needs some probing is how Nelson has felt about them all along, even including the so-called good times, the We Believe run. I personally feel that Nelson never was on board with the make- up of the team. He could never take control of a Baron Davis led team and last year showed just how much he could control Steven Jackson. Jackson’s bitterness against the team, I believe his feeling of being betrayed, occured when Nelson broached the subject of trading him last year- publicly. I don’t think Nelson was ever a fan of Ellis, and in his mind sees Curry as an upgrade. And I think Ellis knows this.
    Nelson has recently mentioned that he has experience rebuilding teams and that is exactly how he has approached his latest stint coaching the team. No one should really be surprised. Mullin only had to remember how all of his rookie teammates disappeared. They also had made the playoffs and produced a stunning first round upset. Someone ask the ghosts of Sleepy Floyd, Purvis Short, Larry Smith, and Joe Barry Carroll if they are surprised at the current goings on.

  • TimTom

    Marcus,
    You do a great job of covering this team. You’re cathartic to the real fans who are fed up with the politics and losing basketball. It’s never about the product on the court with the Cohan owned Warriors, but about saving face for their consistent mess ups. There has never been a team with so much young talent that is wasted, and so much veteran talent that is shipped away for free.

    Keep up the great work Marcus, and keep telling it how it is.

  • johnfree

    I totally agree with your mind-reading on Monta – and as far as it goes, who can blame him?

    My further notion is that the only reason we heard about it is the “breakdown in civility” started by Jax mouthing off. Without that, Monta woulda kept his thoughts to himself.

  • freez

    MT i think u should change your header pic of Al to someone who is currently on the team.. might i suggest randolph dunking over yao..

  • commish

    All I can say is what goes around comes around. You would have to have a very thick manual on every wrong move that has led to the current total meltdown from top to bottom. It is almost unfathomable how many mistakes were made in the last two + years and boggles the mind. I don’t blame Jax and Monta for not wanting to be Warriors-who really would be. Last year you had to think Baron got the worst of it landing with the Clips. He probably got the better of it with everything that has happened and what will happen this abysal looking season.

  • Steve

    As a Warriors fan the ONLY thing that matters to me is what happens when these guys get on the court and start playing other teams once the regular season begins. I don’t care what Jackson or Ellis or anyone else talks about away from the game. That stuff keeps the tabloid geniuses in business but otherwise is meaningless. This team has talent and can win if they stay healthy. The Western Conference is getting weaker, not stronger. Whenever I come here to amuse myself for a few minutes, all I read about is Cohan and Rowell being inept, Nelson being too old and an alcoholic, and how poor Mully was crapped on by all the aforementioned. LOL Oh yeah, and about all those great players the Warriors have let go in the past. Sleepy Floyd? Joe Barely Cares? OMG If Chris Webber was so great why did he have to go to the Siberia of the NBA (at the time), Sacramento, to make a name for himself? And he wound up with how many rings? How about J-Rich? How long did it take Larry Brown to realize that the guy was just “another player”? The point is, other than Rick Barry, the Warriors have never had any great players to get rid of. And, they’ve never had any (potentially) great teams to break up. I have no idea how the 2009-2010 Warriors are going to do. What I do know is that I’m ready for the new season to start, and this team has enough talent to make a lot of people look even dumber than they are. And considering the existing level of stupidity that already permeates these blog sites and local tabloids, that would be a major accomplishment.

  • Dunkin on Warrior dumdumbs

    To Sunny G: Can you pick your co workers and what your company does? and if some one was hired that can basically do your job would you feel slighted or work harder to make sure you work hard to make them feel they made a mistake. Fact of the matter is if you were makin 10 mil a year and couldnt be fired anyway would you even give a damn?! Well stop catering to the atheletes wants because they dont matter. The thing is both of these guys are spoiled atheletes with big egos and no allstar appearances who didnt start yappin there gums until they signed big contracts and where dubbed captains ofthe team. The thing is the traded away all their friends and there feelings were hurt. I didnt hear jacksons trade demands when he was playin under that old contract or hear about monte doin any mopad stunts before that big contract.lets look at the friends that were that traded> Braon Davis: loved this guy. born leader and although i think he would have got gotten real old after we gave him a big contract you cant replace that. i would have rather resigned him than sign megette for the same money. Front office bluffed and Baron called. Are we better off with curry? we’ll see but the future looks bright. J Rich: loved his explosiveness and fire but never played defense,never worked well enough on handles and should have came off the bench for us because he’s doin nothin in charlotte. didnt like the trade but Brandon Wright gives us defense and rebounds. I’ll take that because we have enough ball hoggs that can score the ball. al harrington. give me a break woulda gave him up for nothin which is exactly what we got. thought he was better than he actually was. Matt barnes love this guy also know him personally as well as alot of the other worriors but to inconsistant but he made his mark with the dubs in the playoff run had personal lost in 2008 effected his game but this is a biz and i understand. So are the warriors better off now? you tell me. we are the deepest team in the league and have more talent than any team in the league and any warrior tem that i can remember. Deep at every position with the same coach who consistantly leads teams to the playoffs. So note to the spoiled athelete and i hate the fact more so that again these are black spoiled atheletes ( im an african american man) You 2 guys come from lower income homes and and you were able to buy your mom her dream home right out of high school basically because of a hobbie you picked up as a kid that turn into a career. You know how many people would kill to be able to do that? Its a job you dont make the rules and in the end Sonny g we the fans should fill betrayed and not these spoiled overpayed atheletes. SO SHUT YOUR PIEHOLES AND PLAY BALL!

  • http://dontdoit@dontdoit.com don’t do it

    Monta must average over 6 dimes to succeed. The whole team needs that or we are done. Look at Devin Harris. They are the same player but Harris figured out how to pass. If Monta can step up with the handles he would be totally unstoppable. Everyone knows he will either hoist the midrange shot or blow by you, they defend for that and still he averages 25ppg. If he can average 21ppg and 6+ dimes we have a future. Dre needs to just be consistent with his D and double doubles, but nobody expects a 30 point game from him. AR needs to be the next KG, and he looks like he has the tools and the attitude. If AR, Dre, and Monta grow, the rest don’t matter. We can’t get rid of Maggette with his contract, and Jack plays the single easiest position to replace. His numbers last year were impressive but you can count how many wins it gets you. Morrow is cold blooded but he lacks the athleticism to play the 2 full time. Curry may be a stud, but we won’t know for a while. So hold out hope that AR, Monta, and Dre can lead this team, the rest of the guys are just gravy. Ronni and Wright are better than any other team’s backup bigs, and we still have Buke. Trading away Belli for George is a head scratcher, we could have used Belli at times, we will never require George to step on the floor. But remember this, we were nobody without Baron Davis, we are nobody again since Robert Rowell the moron got rid of him for an anchor named Corey. Until a PG steps up to lead us again, we will sniff the lottery over and over. Monta has the tools.