Is it time to restore Monta Ellis' reputation? After Monta Ellis got anaylzed by Wages of Wins as being the most overrated scorer of last season, a friend of mine told me that we should lay off his neighbor because he 1) never (in)formally asked for a trade and 2) willingly poses for cameras in front of his house for fans.
Jacob Smith of Pine Rider blog suggests that Monta Ellis to some extent has become the scapegoat for last season's woes and that maybe we should just "save Monta Ellis"...by trading him. But the more important question, for me at least, is whether Monta deserves to be "saved?"
Monta's blunders in the past are forgivable as time (and wins) is the greatest healer of all things. Ask Kobe and all other athletes mired in legal issues. Being not much a talker, it's hard to get good sound bites from him that make us think otherwise, too. There was no press conferences where he teary-eyed confessed to anything. He doesn't openly talk about "loving" his teammates.
But does any player deserve to be shunned like this? And if he isn't part of the future, should we try to find a scenario that will restore him to the image of him that we once had?
Just to play devils advocate, lets just say yes. The reputation of the Warriors franchise has not been the highest. It is definitely not a destination that players think about locating to (i don't believe the rumors that Carmelo Anthony would prefer a trade to the bay area). To some extent, getting traded or signed to the Warriors is more of a demotion or exile, the low point in a player's career where I think they realize that they've taken the sport for granted. Think "scared straight" for wayward teens.
And is it really Monta's fault with the way the situation with the moped was dealt by the higher ups? There was constant threat by management that they still reserved the right to cut him without having to honor the contract. And while it never happened, using that as leverage against a player just dubbed the franchise just seems tacky and unprofessional.
How we've come to understand Monta Ellis is obviously on him, but we have to consider how the franchise has been a part of the creation of how we've come to interpret Monta as both the former "future" but also as a "failure." And as I've written before, to take the reigns from him and suddenly declare the Warriors to be basically be Curry's, could have been done with a little more class.
With new ownership, I'm expecting the Warriors management to be more savvy about how they portray their franchise and its players. With Lacob equally interested in the entertainment aspects of this, I'm sure he'll find a way to recuperate Monta Ellis without having to trade him. And if the Warriors do end up trading him, I'm expecting it to be done where Monta won't bad mouth the franchise when he's gone.
Warriors to be a free-agent destination in 2011?