Ex-Warriors employee details sex harassment suit against Monta


Ex-Warriors employee details sex harassment suit against Monta

OAKLAND -- A former Warriors employee sued guard Monta Ellis and the team on Wednesday for sexual harassment. Erika Smith, who had been the Warriors director of community relations, claimed Ellis sent her dozens of texts of a sexual nature.Smith filed the lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court."We responded already," Monta Ellis said from a charity event in Alameda. "I'm just here to put a smile on this friendly face. It's a legal matter, it will play it's course. You know, whatever happens happens."
According to Smiths attorney, Burton Boltuch, the Warriors changed Smiths job title when Ellis wife made the team aware of the texts. Boltuch said Smith was eventually fired in an effort by the team to rid themselves of the possible complaint.
"I was treated unfairly, I was let go," Smith said at a Wednesday news conference. "I love my job, I loved what I did."Neither Warriors coach Mark Jackson nor general manager Larry Riley commented on the suit on Tuesday night in Sacramento."On a micro level, my client has endured unwanted harassment, has suffered and continues to suffer emotional distress and trauma," Smith's lawyer said. "On a macro level, this type of conduct, especially in the sports world, must stop."Ellis led the team in scoring last season, averaging 24.1 points per game.

He signed a 66 million, six-year contract during the 2007-08 season.

Durant finds motivation in those doubting his hunger

Durant finds motivation in those doubting his hunger

NEW ORLEANS – It’s early Thursday night and practice is over and the Warriors, one by one, have filed out of Smoothie King Center and onto one of two team buses.

Only one player remains: Kevin Durant, the 6-foot-9 forward, a nine-year NBA veteran with four NBA scoring titles and an MVP trophy among his possessions.

Durant at one end of the court continues to go through his vast arsenal of offensive moves. The drop-step. The step-back. The swipe. The spin-and-dunk. Sweat drips from his chin, his arms and his gray Warriors T-shirt. He’s talking to himself. He’s destroying Chris DeMarco, a 6-8 former small college power forward who has evolved into a valuable but oft-abused assistant coach.

“They say I’m not hungry,” Durant barks out at one point, before sprinting into a corner and launching a 3-pointer and then sprinting to the top of the key for another trey.

By now DeMarco, also soaked his perspiration, is watching from a seat on the bench. No matter. He rises yet again to go back at Durant in a matchup that feels very much like championship fighter and sparring partner.

Durant finally ends the functional torture of DeMarco and flops into a seat.

“How much fun do you have beating up on DeMarco,” he is asked.

Durant breaks into a grin.

“Those are people that you don’t really get to know, get to see, that contribute to success,” Durant says. “DeMarco, ever since I got here he’s been helping get better. He lets me beat up on him and work on my game. It’s easy to just go out there by yourself. But just having another voice and having token defense out there definitely helps. I’m just trying to get better, man.

“That’s what I’m all about.”

When asked about his “hungry” remark, Durant reveals a bit of himself. Like many sports superstars, he hears the chatter and absorbs the slights. Though the comment was made in earshot of a few reporters, it shines a light into the psychological games he plays with himself.

“That’s what I say to myself when I’m working,” he says. “I hear it all the time. You hear the noise. You hear what they say about you. Everybody hears it.

“So it’s a little extra motivation when I’m out there. Nobody in this arena right now, and that’s when you get better. Nobody sees you when you’re doing this stuff right here. But luckily, y’all were in here watching.”

Durant is on a roll now. He’s loose, he’s feeling good and he’s pulling off the mask.

“You hear that stuff and you just use it fuel,” he says. “You don’t let it affect you, obviously, but when you’re out on the court you just try to use it as fuel. And keep getting better. That’s how I am.”

Asked if he reads the criticism, Durant takes only a fraction of a step backward.

“It’s not that I read it,” he says. “It’s just in the air. It’s in the atmosphere, and people tell you and you hear about it and (reporters) ask me questions about it all the time. So, obviously, I know.

“But I’m not losing sleep on it. It’s just wood on that fire. You just keep always wanting to get better.”

Which opens the door to the subject of opening night, when the Warriors were manhandled in a 129-100 loss to San Antonio, prompting spirited debate among street-corner coaches and general managers.

“Obviously, you’re going to hear everything,” he says, grinning. “ ‘The season is over.’ ‘The team is the worst team in the league.’

“You thought it was going to be easy? It’s one game,” he adds. I remember losing in the playoffs by 30 or beating someone by 30 in Game 1 of the playoffs, and you say it’s only one game. And it’s one game in 82, and you (expletive) guys are making it feel like the world is ending.”

Durant is out of his chair. Still sweating, walks toward the exit to get on the bus.

He did what he felt he needed to do to get better. He said what he felt he needed to say, responding to critics. And he did it all with no less than a trace of a smile.

Acrimonious? Draymond opens up about his relationship with Kerr

Acrimonious? Draymond opens up about his relationship with Kerr

Does Draymond Green have a good relationship with Steve Kerr?

Are people overblowing the idea there may be acrimony between the two? The Warriors' power forward addressed that issue on Wednedsay evening.

"I don't really get into whether someone is overblowing something or not because at the end of the day I think their opinion is their opinion. And there's not much you can really do with their opinion," Draymond told 95.7 The Game's Damon Bruce. "One thing I've learned over the course of the last couple years is people are very opinionated, and their opinion is their opinion and there's not much you can really do to change their opinion.

"So I don't even try to change people's opinion. I don't refute stories anymore, I don't try to tell my side of the story because at the end of the day it really doesn't matter ... I know what our relationship is, Coach Kerr knows what our relationship is, this organization and team knows what our relationship is and that's good enough for me. That's all that really matters at the end of the day ... everything else is irrelevant to me. That's how I look at it, that's how I roll with it, and just keep it moving."

A recent article by ESPN's Ethan Sherwood Strauss (Draymond declined comment for the story) detailed the relationship between Green and Kerr, highlighting the moment at the Warriors' 2015 championship parade when Draymond put his arm around Kerr and said the following:

"This my guy. From the start of training camp, he hated me. That's no lie. He probably still hates me. That's no lie. But we going to keep winning these championships -- and that's no lie."

The feature also sheds light on the confrontation the two had in the Warriors' locker room in Oklahoma City last February.

Despite any possible lingering friction, at his Coach of the Year press conference in April, Kerr delivered the following message to the team's "heartbeat."

"Draymond -- don't ever change, if you're watching this," Kerr started. "Keep yelling at me, I'm gonna keep yelling at you. It's the best. He provides the edge that this team needs. Without Draymond, we'd be in trouble. We would be too quiet, and too nice.

"We need that edge. And when he brings it every day, and we have all that emotion, and that fire, it literally ignites the team."

So everything is good between the two?

"For those who want to know, our relationship is pretty, pretty ... I can't even use the word I wanted to use ... really good," Draymond answered. "We talk every day. We talk about things basketball wise, life, families. So it's good. But like I said, I don't really care what someone else thinks about it."