Monta Ellis as Religious Experience

When inefficiency and transcendence aren’t mutually exclusive.
Share |

Via Flickr

Last night, the Golden State Warriors finalized a trade to send Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh, and Kwame Brown to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson. In Ellis, the Warriors gave up their leading scorer in the last three seasons. But most fans are not upset that the Warriors traded him. While the merit of the deal itself can be debated, Ellis wasn't a particularly beloved player. He never seemed especially proud to wear the uniform in the way former Warrior Jason Richardson was, and he caused enough PR nightmares—the moped injury's secrets and lies, the still-unresolved sexual harassment suit—that no one figured him to be a solid locker room presence.

Ellis was the team’s obvious late-game option, but failed to convince anyone that he was essential to the Warriors’ future. As soon as the new ownership group threw its weight behind Stephen Curry, it was clear that Ellis would be dealt. Those of us who cared came to terms with his departure long ago.

And yet the experience of watching Monta has always transcended his status as an expendable star. Warriors fans have become well-acquainted with Ellis’s capacity for momentary greatness—a crossover to get an open jumper, an athletic lay-up in traffic, a quick burst to jump a passing lane and start a fast break. There are few players in the league that combine ingenuity and athleticism as well as Ellis. It’s no surprise that he’s become a favorite among League Pass devotees—watching him do something amazing in a meaningless January game is like discovering an underground sensation, or uncovering a great movie that critics have dismissed.

That’s not to say that Monta was miscast in Oakland, or that a fresh start will renew his career. NBA observers know that Ellis is a flawed player, a pass-third guard who needs to handle the ball as much as possible, struggles to move laterally on defense, and tends to take poor shots in crunch time. His usefulness is as yet undetermined: he’s a very talented player, but not effective enough for a team to organize itself around his flaws. He seems like the kind of player destined to play on mediocre teams for his entire career, a scorer just good enough to become part of All-Star discussion without ever being selected for the team itself.

Ellis is compelling because he momentarily renders those very legitimate concerns insignificant in the moment. He has been my favorite player since 2006, yet even I don’t make excuses for his inefficient production or seeming inability to alter his game to suit the needs of the team. He’s special not because of a particular skill, but for his ability to do something so unexpected that basketball logic seems like an insignificant arbiter of his value. He will dunk on Leandro Barbosa during what seems like a standard 3-on-1 break, or finish a 360 lay-up between two defenders when seeking out a foul would have been the safer bet.

The context of his career doesn’t give meaning to his talent—it obscures it. Unlike Allen Iverson, there’s no sense that his peak performance proves something about his toughness and will to win. Fans marvel at his body control, but praising it as a basketball skill is like calling someone the MVP of yoga. Ellis is a perfect fit for the Twitter era, a pure scorer whose stardom is defined by instantaneous reaction to his highlights rather than what he does to help a team win. At his best, he does so many amazing things in such quick succession that the only acceptable reactions are to squeal and laugh.

Unfortunately, that means it’s only possible to appreciate Ellis by watching him as much as possible. In contrast to other cult favorites like DeMarcus Cousins and J.R. Smith, Ellis lacks a personality that can keep fans interested through middling performances or after a month of not watching his games. He impresses most in volume, when fans are exposed to him as often as possible. The minute he stops playing, or does poorly, all the questions about his usefulness become real issues worthy of statistical analysis and extended trade-machine fiddling. Watch a highlight clip, like the one embedded above of his 46-point outburst against the Rockets last season, and those worries about his game seem beside the point. Why criticize something so incandescently beautiful?

No player was a better fit for late-stage Nellieball, alternately changing the face of basketball and teetering on the verge of falling apart entirely. Yet, just as certain fans can appreciate what that style of play represents even while noting its numerous flaws, Monta devotees can simultaneously identify what makes him special and know that his presence isn’t necessarily conducive to winning a championship.

My sadness over this trade is largely unrelated to the Warriors’ long-term ability to contend — in truth, they’ve been bad for so long that I expect very little. Instead, I’m disappointed that a player best experienced immediately has been placed at a remove. He’ll still be on League Pass, but catching a game here and there isn’t the same. In this case, supply is directly related to demand: watching Ellis less frequently makes him less exciting.

Bucks fans have obvious reasons to lament this deal. They’ve opened up cap space for the future at the expense of the best defensive player on a team that defines itself at that end of the floor, and the pairing of Ellis and Brandon Jennings figures to be even more of a mismatch than that of Ellis and Curry. However, unless Scott Skiles makes Monta play in ankle weights, all of Wisconsin will now be exposed to a basketball talent who expands conceptions of what the sport can be. That Monta is so flawed and inconsistent makes those moments of transcendence no less valid. As long as fans can appreciate qualities other than efficiency, he’s a welcome presence on any team.

Share |


I am definitely enjoying your website. You definitely have some great insight and great stories. book pr

World's Faster Growing Affiliate Program

Buy a e-Book of $10 & Sell Any 2 Books to any one, then Relax & Earn
make money online

Oliver Terry
Project Controller - Contract
Russell Smith Electrical
March 2015 - May 2016
Tasmania, Australia

Site Leader/Hv Electrical Fitter Mechanic - Contract

Marh 2014 - March 2015

"Boredom is a killer—which is why a cure for boredom can be a lifesaver.

The truth is, portable Bluetooth speakers have been the handheld solution to elevate the moment, whether at the beach, the middle of a party, or a lazy afternoon at home for years now—and your brand can get in on that excitement.

Right now—with, you can put you logo on a wide array of Promotional Bluetooth Speakers, in all different shapes and sizes, from waterproof to resilient wood—with models coming in at 6-7 dollars all the way up to high-end luxury designs. Multiple surfaces on almost every customized Bluetooth speaker can showcase your logo—so no matter which way it’s turned, your name is always center staged." Bluetooth Speaker with logo

Respecting the time and exertion you put into your online journal and point by point data you offer!.. mens designer fashion

Very motivating and accommodating too.Hope you keep on sharing a greater amount of your ideas.squareback car covers

Pleasant to peruse your article! I am anticipating sharing your enterprises and encounters. beirut escort

Only a grinning visitant here to share the adoration (:, btw exceptional style. escort beirut

i truly like this article please keep it up. book public relations

Where parties are applying for consent orders (ie they have already reached an agreement)
Tweed Heads lawyer

extended trade-machine fiddling. Watch a highlight clip, like the one embedded above of his 46-point outburst against the Rockets last season, and those worries about his game seem beside the point. jouer a minecraft gratuitement |
psn codes free no survey

I’m happy I located this blog! From time to time, students want to cognitive the keys of productive literary essays composing. Your first-class knowledge about this good post can become a proper basis for such peopleUnique Domains

I take in some new stuff from it as well, a debt of gratitude is in order for sharing your data. lebanon escorts

Excellent Blog! I would like to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. I wanted to thank you for this websites! Thanks for sharing. Great websites!
paket tour jogja

Much thanks to you such a great amount for sharing this incredible blog.Very motivating and accommodating too.Hope you keep on sharing a greater amount of your ideas.I will love to peruse. tattoo supply

Through this post, I know that your good knowledge in playing with all the pieces was very helpful. I notify that this is the first place where I find issues I've been searching for.FREE Forex Trading Tutorial

i truly like this article please keep it up. escorts in beirut

Absolutely fantastic posting! Lots of useful information and inspiration, both of which we all need!Relay appreciate your work. Are really brilliant! Dofollow Blog Comments

This is my first time i visit here. I discovered such a large number of fascinating stuff in your online journal particularly its dialog. From the huge amounts of remarks on your articles, I figure I am by all account not the only one having all the satisfaction here! keep doing awesome top home improvement ideas

entire career, a scorer just good enough to become part of All-Star discussion without ever being selected for the team itself. organic Store Mcallen

A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing the post.. folks are universes best individual in every existences of individual..they need or must succeed to manage needs of the crew. sous vide equipment reviews

The roof of a home is one of the most important components of all. It is responsible for keeping the elements out and protecting the homeowner and their family. Roofing contractors provide the important service of installing and repairing this important component. Roofing contractors go above and beyond to make sure that roof installation is done efficiently and properly and provide roof restoration services in the event that repairs are required or re-painting needs to be carried out to restore the roof to its former glory

Wonderful, just what a blog it is! This blog has provided the helpful data to us continue the good work. I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. 100% Manually, So your site is safe you can get all HQ links, that definitely increase your SERPs. 20 High Quality Backlinks gig Only for fiverr members just for 5$ WOww...high trust flow backlinks

The written piece is truly fruitful for me personally; continue posting these types of articles.
Chris Walker - SEO Denver

I read that Post and got it fine and useful. It would be ideal if you share more like that... trust flow backlinks

I was searching for decisive information on this topic. The information you have provided in the blog is really important.
Chris Walker - best SEO consultant

I can set up my new thought from this post. It gives top to bottom data. A debt of gratitude is in order for this significant data for all,.. werbemittel bedrucken

This is an extraordinary post. I like this topic.This site has loads of advantage.I discovered numerous fascinating things from this site. It helps me in numerous ways.Thanks for posting this once more. tattoo supply

That gives off an impression of being amazing anyway i am still not very beyond any doubt that I like it. At any rate will look much more into it and choose by and by! product launch formula

This is extremely fascinating substance! I have completely delighted in perusing your focuses and have arrive at the conclusion that you are right about a number of them. You are incredible. haarverlängerung düsseldorf

The stuff in this blog is in not only incredible but also providing the great knowledge to the people.check here

Wonderful blog post. This is absolute magic from you! I have never seen a more wonderful post than this one. You've really made my day today with this. I hope you keep this up! read this article

Incredible learning, do anybody mind only reference back to it backlinks citation flow

Simply respecting your work and thinking about how you dealt with this web journal so well. It"s remarkable to the point that I can"t bear to not experience this important data at whatever point I surf the web! inbox blueprint

wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated. car cover

Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I’m happy to find so many useful info here in the post. we need work out more techniques in this regard. thanks for sharing. car cover

Please continue this great work and I look forward to more of your awesome blog posts. car cover

I ‘d mention that most of us visitors are really endowed to exist in a fabulous place with very many wonderful individuals with very helpful things. car cover

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. this site offers free gems

I’m happy I located this blog! From time to time, students want to cognitive the keys of productive literary essays composing. Your first-class knowledge about this good post can become a proper basis for such people. how to hack clash of clans

Buy backlinks I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post Dofollow Blog Comments

I am certain this article has touched all the web visitors; it’s very extremely lovely script car cover

I am still learning from you, but I am trying to achieve my goals. I certainly enjoy reading all that is posted on your blog. Keeps the information coming. mustang car covers

I have as of late begun a web journal, the data you give on this website has helped me significantly. A debt of gratitude is in order for the majority of your time and work. BUY BITCOIN

We provide service at your place of residence or business if you are unable to travel to our location (for more details please go to paralegal services) We have reduced fees depending on client’s family net income, We charge our clients per job and do not ask for advanced money and usually give clients approximately cost of litigation and time of payments before starting the job. Paralegal services

Howdy, I discover perusing this article a delight. It is to a great degree supportive and fascinating and all that much anticipating perusing a greater amount of your work.. messebau köln

I high appreciate this post. It’s hard to find the good from the bad sometimes. but I think you’ve nailed it! would you mind updating your blog with more information? Villas for rent in Cyprus

We also believe that your photography process should be easy and enjoyable - we are here to take great care of you and to provide gracious and customer service Financial Strategies

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. Blue Chip

I'm glad I found this web site, I couldn't find any knowledge on this matter prior to.Also operate a site and if you are ever interested in doing some visitor writing for me if possible feel free to let me know, im always look for people to check out my web site. International Pet Shipper in Colombo Sri Lanka