MONTA ELLIS and Stephen Jackson spoke Monday like two spoiled brats trying to run the Warriors franchise. Or trying to run away from it.
Ellis brazenly said he can't coexist in the same backcourt with newly drafted point guard Stephen Curry.
Minutes earlier, Jackson didn't back down from a recent trade request and proceeded to rip the franchise's direction. His ego also ran the fast break: "I'm made for the playoffs and championships. That's what I play for. I'm Big Shot Jack."
Both players are out of line. They may be speaking the truth, but these so-called "big shots" came off so selfish that it paints another dark cloud over a futile franchise.
Welcome to the Warriors, Stephen Curry. Attending the Raiders' disastrous loss Sunday was Curry's perfect warm-up for the tangled web awaiting him with the Warriors.
Neither Ellis nor Jackson had met Curry before Monday's team-mandated media day before training camp. What, no flowers or congratulatory calls on draft day? Instead the Warriors captains took the opportunity Monday to squash any optimism that Curry could help end the Warriors' latest tailspin.
They insist they want to win. But they don't evoke any confidence the Warriors will win as currently constructed. They both seem to want out. Jackson went public last month with that wish. Ellis perhaps did the same by mocking an Ellis-Curry backcourt.
Jackson and Ellis eventually will
But they're talking like All-Stars when the Warriors haven't had one since 1997.
It's not Ellis' place to say he can't share a backcourt with Curry. Coach Don Nelson thinks they can, and he will see that one way or another soon enough.
The clip-and-save portion of Ellis' thoughts on him and Curry:
Question: "Do you envision yourself playing together in the backcourt?"
Ellis: "I can't. I can't answer that. Us together? No."
Q: "Why not?
Q: "Why not?"
Ellis: "Just can't."
Q: "Too small? Too similar?"
Ellis: "Just can't."
Q: (Do) you understand they say you can?
Ellis: "They say we can, but we can't."
Q: You wouldn't want to give it a shot?
Ellis: "I just want to win. That's not going to win that way."
Ellis and Jackson are living too much in the past. They, like Warriors fans, wish this were the 2006-07 playoff season, when the Warriors had Baron Davis running the point and playing the captain's role that Ellis and Jackson now, um, embrace (along with Andris Biedrins).
"We've been taking steps back ever since that year we beat Dallas," Jackson said. "I don't think we've even made progress."
Ellis seems certain that Curry won't offer him the benefits that Davis provided, such as veteran experience and covering for Ellis' inferior defense.
"You can't put two small guys out there and try to play the 1 (point guard) and the 2 (shooting guard) when you've got big 2 guards (to match up with) in the league," Ellis said. "You just can't do it. Yes we're going to move up and down fast. But eventually the game is going to slow down."
Sounds reasonable "... coming from a coach, not a player who was in the franchise's doghouse a year ago for savaging his ankle in a still-mysterious off-court accident.
This summer's showstopper was Jackson's trade request. Forget about that recent contract extension buying his loyalty. This is just business, he claimed.
"Who's going to turn down that money? I'm not stupid," Jackson said. "I didn't go to college, but I've got common sense."
What he doesn't have is the Phoenix Suns' Amare Stoudemire, a big man who would have made a big difference in Jackson's summer of discontent.
Instead, the Warriors have Curry, a sharpshooter who oozes charisma and hope. He probably will be around here a lot longer than Ellis or Jackson. That is, unless Nellie changes his mind and trades Curry, his long-sought clone of Steve Nash.
"We're going to bring him in, open arms to him and show him the ropes like they did me," Ellis said.
Curry already knows the NBA's "ropes" thanks to his father, Dell, who played 16 seasons in the league. But he still hopes to learn more from Ellis.
"I look forward to being on the floor with him," Curry said. "He's a great talent and he'll help me out."
Don't be so sure of that.