Monta Ellis

Joe Lacob reveals perhaps single most important moment as Warriors owner

Joe Lacob reveals perhaps single most important moment as Warriors owner

Warriors owner Joe Lacob never will forget what happened on March 19, 2012.

During the halftime ceremony of Chris Mullin's jersey retirement at Oracle Arena, those in attendance showered Lacob with boos as he addressed the crowd.

Golden State fans were venting their frustration at the front office's decision to trade fan-favorite Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks six days prior.

“The BOOING — perhaps the singularly most important moment for me,” Lacob said in an email to Marcus Thompson of The Athletic. “As awful as it was for me and my family, I had to recognize the situation I was in.

"Dub Nation had endured so many terrible years and false promises. I know, as I was a fan, too. This was the single moment where the courage of my convictions was required. So I made the decision — it was really more instinct than decision — to accept the criticism and defiantly move forward.

"I simply said I understood and that I would have booed me, too. Did I really believe that? I do not know. I only know that it felt like the right thing to say and do.”

Despite the fact the Warriors (5-24) boast the worst record in the NBA this season, it's very difficult to find anything to boo Lacob for at this point -- unless you vehemently oppose the move to Chase Center in San Francisco.

Or, if your name is Monta Ellis.

“I was laughing — but crying at the same time,” the former Warriors guard recently told Thompson when asked about what happened to Lacob at Mullin's ceremony nearly eight years ago. “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.’"

[RELATED: Why Klay felt for Monta when Warriors traded him to Bucks]

However you might feel about Lacob, the Warriors went to five straight NBA Finals from 2015 to 2019 and captured three championships.

It's impossible to boo that.

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Why Stephen Jackson doesn't reflect fondly on his Warriors departure


Why Stephen Jackson doesn't reflect fondly on his Warriors departure

Stephen Jackson was a key cog on the infamous “We Believe” Warriors, along with Baron Davis, Matt Barnes, Monta Ellis, and an eclectic squad that stunned the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 2007 NBA playoffs.

But after members of that team began to find new homes following that magical season, Jackson desired to be back playing for a contending team. 

The Warriors traded “Captain Jack” early in the 2009 season -- Steph Curry’s rookie year -- and the rest, as they say, is history. 

“That’s when I told them I wanted to get traded, right after Steph came,” Jackson said on “All the Smoke,” a podcast hosted by Barnes. “I wish I would’ve known Chef Curry was gonna be Chef Curry.”

Jackson briefly returned to the Warriors in 2012 along with Andrew Bogut in the infamous Monta Ellis trade that brought a rain of boos down upon owner Joe Lacob at Oracle Arena. 

[RELATED: Ask Kerith: Why Warriors belong to the entire Bay Area]

The combination of Jackson and Draymond Green would have made for some compelling television, but it’s safe to say things worked out pretty well for the Warriors in the years following Curry’s acquisition.

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.

[RELATEDKerr explains why he prefers Thanksgiving over Christmas]

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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