Steinmetz: Ellis' New Vibe Here to Stay

October 16, 2010, 10:27 pm
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The Warriors' player I'vebeen asked most about this preseason has been Monta Ellis. It seemslike fans want to know whether Ellis' positive outlook is for real andwhether it's possible for the good vibe to go long-term.I've got to say - after observing him for the past three weeks andtalking to him a few times - I think this is the real Ellis and thathis upbeat ways will continue.Now, that doesn't mean Ellis isn't going to get a little down if theWarriors go through some hard times or that frustration won'toccasionally bubble up to the surface.But it's obvious Ellis is not the same person he was a year ago. Thesedays, Ellis is vocal and animated. He gets to practice early andwillingly encourages teammates. Last year he was more aloof, more onthe periphery.Ellis talks a lot about how his marriage and his 16-month old son haveimpacted his life. During a sit-down interview with Ellis - to be airedas part of the 2010-11 Warriors Preview show on Comcast SportsNet BayArea on Tuesday night - I asked him about his wedding day."When I said "I do,"" Ellis said. "It was a different feeling, like acleansing to me. Like I was a new man, and everything was positivebecause I had everything going in the right direction."Ellis seemed detached last season. Even though he was putting up bignumbers, he just didn't seem to be all that into it. And it was rightfrom the get-go, when he said on Day 1 of training camp that hecouldn't play alongside then-rookie Stephen Curry.It continued thoughout, with Ellis sometimes sitting alone at the endof the bench, by himself, while the rest of his teammates huddled. Orwhen only he and Corey Maggette would work out together while many ofhis teammates were at another bucket.Yes, there were the trick shots, the over-the-shoulder tosses thatbrought some degree of levity. And yet those impressive, crazy shotssometimes brought along criticism that he should be working on theareas of weakness in his game.Hard to believe but this is Ellis' sixth season in the league, and he'sstill not even 25. But there's every indication that this will be thefirst time that Ellis is wise beyond his years.

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