Golden State's Picking Fights With Itself

No definitive word yet, but USA Today's John Saraceno cops a quote from Monta Ellis' agent Jeff Fried indicating the player will appeal his 30-game suspension and $3 million fine, given due to an injury suffered while riding a moped this summer.

"We've previously evaluated Monta's options, and now that the team has taken a definitive position we will move aggressively in protecting Monta's rights."

Beyond whatever possible rift this causes in the Ellis-Warriors relationship, it does seem to have furthered tensions between team president Robert Rowell (not a basketball guy, and basically a mental and philosophical extension of comically regarded owner Chris Cohan) and general manager Chris Mullin. Every account has Mullin pushing a nominal penalty or less. Rowell and Cohan wanted to exact a pound of flesh equal to the meat Ellis' injury will lop off Golden State's win total.

This is only ingredient No. 2 in the Mullin-Rowell fight, though. It didn't get much heat amongst the punditry, but reports came out late last month that Mullin had an extension for Baron Davis lined up last fall: three years at $39 million, which would have also kept Davis from executing his opt-out for the '08-09 season, which would mean C.J. Miles, DeMarcus Nelson and Marcus Williams wouldn't be fighting for the starting PG job right now. The owner's camp vetoed the deal, which seems overhanded considering the repeated insistence that Mullin makes the basketball decisions.


If Golden State comes out poorly this season, don't be surprised if Mullin (entering his final season under contract) gets canned. That could turn Don Nelson (a Mullin compadre) off, too. And remember that Mullin's right-hand man Rod Higgins left for Charlotte last summer. How many free agent personnel bosses will be lining up for a job under Rowell and Cohan? Oh well, I think Garry St. Jean is still available.

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