The night Ellis & Udoh returned while never having left
Dominic McGuire on the Ellis/Udoh trade: “Hey, I ain’t got no say so, but I was happy with my goons.”
This was an awful showing by the Warriors, but it felt very much in the background. In the foreground, there was a cathartic end to the Ellis era. Though Monta may have wanted out, the Oracle crowd greeted him with a reception befitting Jason Richardson, a victorious emperor, or possibly if Jason Richardson was a victorious emperor. Though he may have symbolized that which plagued GSW, season ticket holders felt otherwise.
It was jarring to see Ellis in Milwaukee’s Christmas packaging unis, though it had to happen. There was ambivalence on my part. I’d long wanted the Warriors to make a Monta/Steph choice. At the same time, Monta represents a connection to a more unadulterated fandom, a time when I simply enjoyed the Warriors without much thought to how I’d write about them. Back then, in the Baron era, Monta was as thrilling as he was helpful to a highly watchable Warriors team. And that squad stirs the hearts of Warriors fans who have had little else to love since its demolition.
Those days are long done, this is the residue. And now Monta’s in the past, along with the inchoate Ekpe. The Bucks trounced GSW, helped along by another spectre of yore in Mike Dunleavy (24 points, 7/8 shooting). Mike was hated by most of my friends for reasons they never really elucidated. They must have been a fairly representative sample size, because Oracle rained boos on Mike’s every touch of Friday. In the locker room, he was mostly mum on what stems the hatred, claiming that he chooses not to analyze it. When I asked if the Duke connection played a role, he rhetorically offered, “Does it play into (the booing) in 29 other arenas?”
It all moves forward, players come and go. There are no Kobes or Reggie Millers here. The only constant is GSW’s perpetual struggle for respectability.