Even as a member of the enemy, Monta Ellis will still get a nice ovation from the crowd when he steps onto Oracle Arena on Wednesday night.
The Dallas Mavericks guard spent his first seven seasons with the Golden State Warriors, developing into a fan-favorite and viewed as a franchise player. Thus, after he was traded in March of 2012, the Oracle Arena crowd booed owner Joe Lacob at a halftime ceremony commemorating Chris Mullin.
So it is no secret that Warriors fans still feel nostalgic toward Ellis, and likewise Ellis still loves them back.
“I always love coming back with the fans here,” Ellis told the Dallas Morning News. “They’re great fans, but I come in to try and get a win for the team I play for now.”
Ellis and the Mavericks will be in town tonight, and the Warriors will be looking to stop their former star, who has performed well in his two previous trips to Oracle Arena as a member of the opposing team. Ellis is in the midst of one of his best seasons in the NBA, averaging 21.5 points and 5.6 assists per game while shooting 47.2 percent from the field. As the second option to Dirk Nowitzki, Ellis no longer has to be the complete playmaker and franchise player that he was viewed as in Golden State, a role that he was clearly not suited for.
Ellis has shown that when put in the right situation with the right team, a player can and will succeed. The Warriors hope to momentarily halt that success tonight.