Already, Stephen Jackson is making it increasingly clear that he wants out of Oakland. Anthony Randolph is questioning his playing time, and Ellis and rookie Stephen Curry are struggling to find much cohesion.
As the players cooled down from a practice at the Reebok Sports Club and prepared for the bus ride to the hotel, Ellis called Nelson over to the bench, where he sat alongside Jackson and Acie Law.
"Coach, why do I get blamed for everything?" Ellis asked.
Then, the coach and player had this heated dialogue:
Nelson: "What have I ever blamed you for?"
Ellis: "For everything. Everything. People not knowing their plays. I didn't do this. I didn't do that."
Nelson directed a two-handed wave off at Ellis and left the facility. The guard yelled, "That's why I won't do it. I just won't do it."
It remains unclear exactly what Ellis won't do, but he's made it obvious that he doesn't want to be blamed for the Warriors' losing ways.
Any time he's had a chance - from media day 2 1/2 months ago to current postgame interviews - Ellis says each player has to be accountable. At the same time, the Warriors' brass says the guard has to be a leader and a game-changer.
The sides can't even decide whether he's a point guard or a shooting guard. Surely, however, they agree that Ellis should show up to practice on time.
Apparently, that's how the latest squabble started. Ellis had his ankles taped at the practice facility instead of the hotel, causing the team to start shooting before he was ready to take the court.
Ellis refused to talk to media after the argument. He even brushed off friend and teammate Corey Maggette, who tried to calm the situation.
According to a Warriors player, Nelson reprimanded Ellis in front of his teammates. The player said Ellis wasn't the only one who wasn't quite ready when practice was scheduled to begin at noon, but the guard still took the brunt of Nelson's anger.
A Warriors source said no players missed the 11:45 a.m. bus to practice and no fines are expected. Ellis worked exclusively with the starting unit a day before the Warriors play at New York, so it would appear that he won't be punished by lessened minutes, either.
Briefly: Maggette sat out practice with a sore hamstring, but he laughed as Curry, Randolph and Anthony Morrow were hazed into dancing and signing "Happy Birthday" to the 30-year-old. ... Ronny Turiaf knee is still not practicing, so the Warriors had to use assistant coach Rico Hines just to field a 5-on-5 scrimmage.
Up next at Knicks 1-84:30 todayCSNBA/1050New York's start joins a three-way tie for the worst in franchise history. The Knicks last started with one win in their first nine games in 2002-03, a season in which they finished 37-45. ... Rookie Toney Douglas is averaging 19.3 points on 59.5 percent shooting over his past three games. ...The last time these teams met Nov. 29, 2008, Chris Duhon dished out a franchise-record 23 assists, and David Lee became the first Knicks player since 1994 to compile a 30-point and 20-rebound game in regulation. ... Danilo Gallinari leads the league with 30 three-pointers 45.5 percent.- Rusty Simmons"Coach, why do I get blamed for everything?" "
Monta Ellis, talking to Warriors coach Don Nelson