Monta Ellis

Why Steph Curry's gesture at Oracle Arena finale touched Monta Ellis

Why Steph Curry's gesture at Oracle Arena finale touched Monta Ellis

For the final regular-season game in Oracle Arena history, Warriors star Steph Curry arrived rocking a No. 8 Monta Ellis jersey.

"Obviously, a lot of history that Monta was able to be a part of with the 'We Believe' Warriors era, and when I got here my rookie year, he was that guy," Curry told reporters back on April 7. "And I think for me, in terms of representing him on the last game, it meant a lot because we were in that backcourt together. 

"When he was traded it was a tough time in terms of the transition of the organization and things like that. I wanted to pay, obviously, honor to him in terms of his story, coming out of high school and doing what he was able to do. He was an Oakland fan, Warrior fan. Beloved guy."

Shortly after he got wind of Curry's gesture, Monta reacted on Instagram. But he recently expanded on his feelings.

"The biggest thing that I always wanted to do, like, when I leave this Earth, is know that I impacted somebody in some shape or form, no matter if it was on or off the basketball court," he told Marcus Thompson of The Athletic. "That’s my biggest thing.

"So to hear that from him, man, it just means I did what I was supposed to do. I made an impact on somebody’s life before I left here.”

During the 2009-10 season -- Curry's rookie campaign -- Ellis averaged a career-high 25.5 points per game.

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The following year, he racked up 24.1 points and 5.6 assists per contest, while Curry registered 18.6 points and 5.8 assists per night.

Although Monta was disappointed with how the franchise handled his trade to Milwaukee in March 2012, he has nothing but love for Dub Nation.

“That’s my second home,” he told Thompson. “I love Oakland. The fans are like no other. I’ve never seen any other fans in America like Oracle.”

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Monta Ellis: Joe Lacob 'deserved' boos at Chris Mullin jersey ceremony

Monta Ellis: Joe Lacob 'deserved' boos at Chris Mullin jersey ceremony

On March 13, 2012, Golden State traded fan-favorite Monta Ellis to the Bucks in exchange for Andrew Bogut.

Six days later, the Warriors retired Chris Mullin's No. 17 jersey during halftime of their game against the Timberwolves. And during the ceremony, the Oracle Arena crowd incessantly boo'd owner Joe Lacob to voice its displeasure with the franchise's decision to part ways with Monta.

It was a night Warriors fans never will forget.

Klay Thompson recently said that he felt bad for Monta because the 2005 second-round pick found out he was being shipped to Milwaukee by watching "SportsCenter."

To nobody's surprise, Monta wasn't happy with how the transaction transpired because team executives told him hours before the deal became official that he would remain with the Dubs.

“Not only so much that they traded me, (but) just how they went about trading me," Monta recently told Marcus Thompson of The Athletic. "If they would’ve traded me and let me know the process of everything that was going down, it would’ve been a whole lot better.

"I mean, that was a career-changing experience right there."

The 2006-07 NBA Most Improved Player was watching live from his hotel room in Portland when Lacob got showered with boos.

“I was laughing — but crying at the same time,” Ellis told Thompson. “Because it was bad. It was like, man, all I did for that city, for that organization. Put my body on the line. Even when they doubted me when I came back from my ankle injury.

"I felt like I deserved to know everything that was going on with the process of that whole little thing. It just went sideways. So when I (saw) that I laughed and I said, ‘He deserved it.’"

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At the time, Dub Nation was fed up with losing and didn't have faith that things would improve.

Fast forward nearly eight years later and it's safe to assume that Warriors fans everywhere are extremely thankful that Lacob and Peter Guber own the Warriors.

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Why Klay Thompson felt for Monta Ellis when Warriors traded him to Bucks

Why Klay Thompson felt for Monta Ellis when Warriors traded him to Bucks

On March 13, 2012, the Warriors went on the road and beat the Kings, 115-89.

But you probably remember that date for something completely unrelated to the final score.

In case you forgot: In the hours leading up to the opening tip, the Warriors agreed to trade fan-favorite Monta Ellis to the Bucks in exchange for center Andrew Bogut.

"I think I realized the harsh reality of the business of the NBA my rookie year," Klay Thompson recently told Maverick Carter of Uninterrupted. "I remember we were in Arco Arena playing the Kings, and Monta got traded. He had to find out through SportsCenter. 

"I felt for him because he had given the Warriors eight great years. It's just the unfortunate side -- that instant news cycle -- he had to find out like that. I felt for him. I learned a lot playing with Monta.

"And just the free agency part of that team -- you're expendable. You're an asset to an NBA franchise, so you got to make the most of it while you're in it. I've been blessed to be with one franchise. That's rare."

Golden State selected Monta in the second round (No. 40 overall) of the 2005 draft. After the Warriors picked Steph Curry in 2009 and then Klay in 2011, you had a feeling Monta's time with the franchise was coming to an end.

[RELATEDKlay reveals financial mistakes from early in Dubs career]

Through the first 38 games (one start) of his rookie season, Klay averaged 8.0 points in just 17.2 minutes per game. After the Monta trade, he started all 28 games and averaged 18.6 points in 34.1 minutes per night.

Breaking news -- it was a good trade for Golden State.

And one final tangent -- here's an excerpt from the AP recap of the Dubs' win over the Kings the night Monta was shipped to Milwaukee:

Ellis exchanged goodbyes with stunned teammates, then quickly left the arena for the unexpected quick return trip to Oakland with (Ekpe) Udoh, who appeared shocked after learning of the trade on a locker room TV.

Such is life in the NBA.

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