Today, the legendary Jerry West, was formally introduced by the Golden State Warriors. He is regarded as one of the most respected basketball minds in the world and among the greatest players to ever play the game. In the press conference, he was sharp as ever and was not shy in offering his opinion on how to best improve the team.
He emphasized taking RISKS!
He stated that they needed to get bigger overall.
He specified the need to get bigger at two positions. Obviously he's referring to SG and C.
Then he drop this bombshell during an interview after the press conference:
Monta, fierce competitor. He competes his fanny off every night. Love to watch him play. But to me, size helps. A lot of times...the two trades that we made that were pretty controversial, we traded Norm Nixon, he was part of a World Championship team. And even to this day, I don't think Norm is very happy with me, but I've always said that, with the ball in his hands, Ervin Johnson was Magic Johnson, without it, he was Ervin Johnson. And they had a difficult time sharing the ball and being successful. Trading Nick Van Excel was one of the most difficult...he was one of my favorite players. But it got to the point where you would rather it be about the team than the individual. And to this day, I know he despises me, but I don't think you have to look it that way, you have to look at what's best for the bigger picture here. And that's exactly what these guys want to do.The writing is on the wall and it is a matter of time before they trade Monta. Maybe not this season, but if they miss the playoffs yet again in 2012, definitely the next.
I love Monta, but for the good of the team and in the bigger scheme of things, it is best that the ball be in the hands of a true PG that could facilitate plays and make teammates around him better. If Monta remains as SG, the Warriors won't have problems scoring most nights, but they will usually have problems defending because of the lack of size. It may seem acceptable in the regular season, but when Playoff Basketball rolls around and defenses ratchet it up, size WILL matter, and the great teams will game-plan and exploit the mismatches.
I'm sure Lacob was aware of this situation even before West gave his input. Don Nelson also affirms this viewpoint in an interview with KNBR in which lauds Monta's offensive prowess, but ultimately says that a pairing of Curry and Ellis is too small and would not succeed at a high level.
With the respected Jerry West on board, it will be easier for the organization to break the news to the Monta Ellis fans. His days as a Warrior are numbered, so enjoy him in the Blue and Gold while you can. The 'Big Risk' West speaks of is in the works.