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News » Warriors' Monta Ellis, Don Nelson get in verbal altercation


Warriors' Monta Ellis, Don Nelson get in verbal altercation


Warriors' Monta Ellis, Don Nelson get in verbal altercation NEW YORK It was a relatively minor tiff, but an exchange between Warriors guard Monta Ellis and coach Don Nelson after practice Thursday epitomizes the lack of chemistry that is plaguing Golden State.

From Stephen Jackson's widely known desire to be traded, to Ellis' obvious incompatibility with rookie guard Stephen Curry, to Anthony Randolph's rocky relationship with Nelson, the Warriors seem to be a team with as much turmoil as talent.

"It's pretty bad around here," one player said.

After practice at the Reebok Sports Club in Manhattan, Ellis, Jackson and guard Acie Law were sitting on a bench preparing to leave when Nelson walked by. Ellis asked Nelson a question.

"Coach," Ellis said. "Why do I get blamed for everything?"

Nelson replied, "What have I ever blamed you for?"

"For everything," Ellis replied calmly. "For everything. For people not knowing the plays. I didn't do this. I didn't that."

Nelson waved both hands at Ellis, as if to brush him off, and walked off shaking his head.

"See," Ellis said. "That's why I won't do it. I just won't do it."

It is unclear what Ellis was saying he won't do, or what blame he was referring to as Ellis declined to comment afterward. It all illustrates a deeper problem ailing the Warriors : Poor chemistry (or no chemistry, as forward Corey Maggette said after the blowout loss at Sacramento).

Jackson wasn't happy about playing just 18 minutes during Wednesday night's loss to Indiana, including sitting out the entire fourth quarter. Nelson said Jackson had "a sore back or something," that limited his ability to play.

Jackson disagreed, saying his back was fine and he didn't understand why Nelson chose not to play him much.

Since the offseason trips Nelson and general manager Larry Riley took to visit Ellis, the Warriors have been trying to get on the same page. Heading into game No. 8 tonight, they are still trying.

Occasionally, the Warriors have moments that make you think they are bonding as a team. Before the game on Tuesday, Maggette bought P.F. Chang's for all of his teammates because there was no pre-game meal. After practice Thursday, the players sang and danced (horribly) "Happy Birthday" to Maggette, who turned 30.

But these are proving to be moments and not the normal pattern. During their playoff run of 2007, the Warriors were known for their chemistry and togetherness. That seems like a long time ago, now.

"Obviously, we're not there yet," said swingman Kelenna Azubuike, who was a NBA Development League player on that playoff team. "We've got a lot of young guys. There were more veteran guys on that team and guys knew kinda how to play and get along with each other. So we just got to get on the same page on the court, get our plays right and not make mental mistakes on defense. It might take a little longer since we have one of the youngest teams in the league."

Certainly, the composition of the roster bares some blame. The Warriors depth at each position, and the closeness in talent from the back-ups to the starter, leaves players with reason for gripe about their minutes and their role.

The consensus is that step one is trading Jackson and remove a thorn in the Warriors' side. After that, the Warriors will, undoubtedly, have work to do.

"If you want to be any good," Nelson said before practice, "you've got to have good chemistry. . . . the coach can help when the players are willing."

Note: The Warriors prepared for New York's a zone defense despite having just nine players available. Big man Ronny Turiaf (sprained left knee) did not practice and Maggette sat out with a hurting hamstring. Assistant Rico Hines was pressed into action so the Warriors could have enough for five-on-five.


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Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 13, 2009

 

 
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