A Monta Ellis Reunion Game, Already





OAKLAND – Officially it was a road game, Bucks at Warriors. In real life, though, Monta Ellis was simply playing a home game a little backward, from a different locker room to a different bench but ending up on the same Oracle Arena court and definitely in front of the same fans.

A fluke of the schedule put his Milwaukee debut, after being traded by Golden State with Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson, in his home of nearly seven seasons. Ellis was greeted with “Monta! Monta!” the instant he stepped out of the tunnel to shoot an hour before tip, got a 40-second ovation from fans and several former teammates during pre-game introductions, then shared a video tribute with Udoh on the message board above center court during a timeout in the first quarter. Imagine once people have a chance to miss him.

The changes were to a green uniform and to uniform No. 11, his high school number, but otherwise it felt like a throwback, all the way to last weekend. Ellis was still a 6-foot-3 shooting guard in a small backcourt, now with Brandon Jennings instead of Stephen Curry, and still in Oakland. And still a scorer, of course, with 18 points toward Milwaukee’s 120-98 victory.

The surroundings just didn’t change the fact Ellis knew it was time for a change. Bogut, who could miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury, said the same thing before the game, calling parting with the only professional team he had known a mutual divorce. Annual trade speculation had worn on Ellis, he had matured in recent years but was still viewed around the league as the second-best Warriors guard, rookie Klay Thompson was in place as  successor, and the usual preseason excitement had too often turned to disappointment in the standings.

“I think it was time for a split,” he said. “I knew it was going to come to this one day at one point in my life. I used to be that young guy coming in playing behind Baron (Davis) and Stephen Jackson, and they got traded. I knew one day that some young guy was going to come in behind me and do the same thing, so I was prepared for it. I left on a great note, had a great career here. I wish them the best, and I think it was a great trade for both teams.”

Davis actually left on his own, with a shocking departure to the Clippers as a free agent, and Jackson forced the trade that got him out of town, so it’s not really the same. But, yes, things change. Even when it seems a lot like a home game.

24 Comments

  1. chris says:

    Baron Davis had to leave on his own because golden state didn’t want to resign him.

  2. BobbyMcgee says:

    I was devastated when they traded Ellis, but give it a year and The Warriors will be a very good team. Their backcourt has gone bigger and the front court is absolutely packed with diversity (David Lee/Bogut). This is definately a playoff team. IF these players don’t stay healthy then it’s back to square one for the Warriors. The Bucks have improved too and I’m really hoping Udoh gets a breakout year, he’s like a poor-mans Ibaka.

  3. Jojo Elvis says:

    I always thought of Ellis as a great player, but he deserved a better team than the Golden State. Now, it will make the Bucks a better team and both will grow in the NBA.

  4. tommy says:

    Klay Thompson? Really? He ain’t going anywhere, Monta was their best player and they got rid of him. Nice.

  5. Allan says:

    He is talking about either Mitch Richmond or Tim Hardaway :) Mullins is a SF, not a guard. Baron Davis deserves a mention too. He was great when he was with the warriors.

  6. court says:

    why arent the nba.com writers writing about the knicks two game blowouts.

  7. SecondBest? says:

    “he had matured in recent years but was still viewed around the league as the second-best Warriors guard”

    I’d like to hear someone make an argument for that, HE WAS their offense

  8. Mullin says:

    He is second all time to the one and only Chris Mullin!

  9. Verk says:

    Baron Davis and Cory Maggette were both free agents and signed contracts. Essentially it was a trade but technically it wasn’t

  10. Philip says:

    Hey Sekou, viewed as second to who???? Second all time, or second to Curry?? I know you dont mean Curry, righ, I mean curry is a very dynamic player at times but he is no Ellis. And if you mean all time, I know you are not referring to Davis coz whilst Davis was the ‘truth’ I dont really rem him putting in consistent work for as many years. He is viewed as 2nd best to who?

  11. Taylor says:

    He shoots 25 shots a game because he’s the only scorer on the team in a fast break offense who can create his own shot. He plays the whole game what do you expect? But if you watch every game like I do, you’ll notice that when Curry plays he takes around 12 to 15. But since they made a dumb trade with the bucks, when they should’ve traded Super injury prone curry.

  12. GAb says:

    im pretty sure baron davis was traded to the clippers for corey maggette right?

  13. GAb says:

    im pretty sure baron davis was traded for corey maggette

  14. Brain32 says:

    2nd best? Try one of the best players to ever play for the Warriors, sure I’m a Bulls fan, heck I’m not even from US but from Europe but I know my basketball and Monta is freakin awsome I can not understand this move by the Warriors…

    • kingsfan4ever says:

      bill walton made a comment about monta that he is just a gunner and warriors are better off without him. while watching the boston / kings game and i diagree . i would have loved to see him in a kings jersey. i am totally not a fan of bill walton , miss hearing jerry reynolds instead.

    • kingsfan4ever says:

      I think the bucks got the better deal , didn’t understand that trade. i think the warriors gave up to much.

  15. WOW says:

    he was a solid player, but took too many shots to get his 25 a game..still a really solid player and going to milwaukee probably won’t help because brandon jennings is technically a left-handed stephen curry. kinda..

  16. leohimself says:

    “then shared a video tribute with Udoh on the message board” was kwame brown ignored? lol

  17. Alexanity says:

    I always liked the way he played but I think he deserves a better team, maybe in the future people will see his all-star potential.