AP sportswriter Greg Beacham just published a report announcing that the Golden State Warriors have decided to suspend Monta Ellis, the 177-pound franchise player, 30 games for getting into a moped accident and lying about it because the activity was strictly prohibited in the contract he signed earlier in the offseason. The suspension period started retroactively on Oct. 5, when the Warriors faced off against the New Orleans Hornets in their first preseason game.
The suspension will include all of the Warriors preseason clashes, meaning Ellis will miss the team's first 26 games of the regular season without pay.
According to the Warriors' official website, Ellis violated paragraph 12 of the Uniform Player Contract, which highlights the following:
"The Player agrees that he will not, without the written consent of the Team, engage in any activity that a reasonable person would recognize as involving or exposing the participant to a substantial risk of bodily injury including, but not limited to: (i) sky-diving, hang gliding, snow skiing, rock or mountain climbing (as distinguished from hiking), rappelling, and bungee jumping; (ii) any fighting, boxing, or wrestling; (iii) driving or riding on a motorcycle or moped; (iv) riding in or on any motorized vehicle in any kind of race or racing contest; (v) operating an aircraft of any kind; (vi) engaging in any other activity excluded or prohibited by or under any insurance policy which the Team procures against the injury, illness or disability to or of the Player, or death of the Player, for which the Player has received written notice from the Team prior to the execution of this Contract..."
Clearly, Ellis has violated this paragraph and is lucky not to face any heavy financial cuts from the team. Robert Rowell, the team's president, said to warriors.com, "The cooperation that we received from Jeff Fried (Monta’s representative) enabled us to be very diligent in collecting all of the facts surrounding the incident.
"This 30-game suspension is a result of that. From this point forward, it is the complete focus of everyone involved to provide Monta with all the support he needs to have a successful rehabilitation, and to get him back on the court as an integral part of this team."
The team has taken a positive and successful decision toward Ellis, who violated a clear-cut message of the contract. They are very well aware that he represents the face of the franchise after losing Baron Davis. However, this is the weakest decision a player can face, especially when injured.
Ellis, who is potentially set to return in late December or early January, will be sidelined while the suspension is ongoing. True, the team has seized the advantage of the injury to impose the punishment. But, it's extremely weak, and I am not sure that Ellis will learn from his mistake.
In all honesty, this was the best choice made by the organization, but also a risky one to pursue.
Notes: Surprise, Surprise
Don Nelson has announced that standout rookie point guard DeMarcus Nelson will have the oppurtunity to be part of the starting five to feature in the Warriors' first home preseason game of the year against the Oklahoma Thunder on Saturday, Oct. 11.
Nellie has continually praised the young guard (no relation) for the defensive capabilities that he exhibited throughout training camp.
On the other hand, team captain Stephen Jackson has been featured as point guard amidst some training sessions the team holds. According to Nellie, his leadership skills have become more lively when he plays the point guard position.