Warriors shooting guardÂ Monta EllisÂ addressed the media after Friday’s practice, speaking publicly for the first time since he and the team were sued for sexual harassment two days earlier. Â Read more after the jump.
Showing equal parts resolve and compassion, Ellis looked directly into reporters’ eyes and camera lenses as he declined comment on the allegations and said the lawsuit won’t affect his play on the floor.
“It’s a legal matter; I’m not going to comment on it,” Ellis said. “I’m focusing on basketball, getting ready for the season and trying to prepare to get off to a great start.”
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound dynamic scorer has a history of thriving on the court when it seems like there’s a whirlwind of life-altering events outside of the arena. He’s done it through a variety of injuries, trade rumors and family issues without ever losing his focus on basketball.
“I’m going to continue to live my life,” Ellis said. “I’m going to continue to go through every day, go home and go to sleep every night, wake up with a smile every day, go to work and get my job done.
“I’ve been through it all my life. I don’t think I have to prove anything on that end. It’s a bump in the road. We’ll get through it, focus on basketball and move on.”
Ellis might have to move on in the short term without backcourt mateÂ Stephen Curry.Â The Warriors‘ point guard missed a second consecutive practice after spraining his surgically repaired right ankle.
“One of our guys, the big guy, went down, but that’s what backups are for,” said Ellis, who might shoulder some of the point-guard duties. “We’ve got to find a way to get the job done and hope and pray for him to get back on the court as soon as possible.
“We’ve still got a job to do, and the guys who are dressed will have to find a way to get the job done.”
Curry did some balance work on the ankle, and he plans to test it further today before deciding whether he’ll play in Sunday night’s opener against the Clippers. Curry, who missed a portion of last year’s exhibition schedule and eight regular-season games with three severe ankle sprains, said he won’t take the court this time until he’s 100 percent healthy.
The Warriors open the season with back-to-back games against two of the top point guards in the league. The Clippers traded this offseason forÂ Chris Paul, and Chicago brings MVPÂ Derrick RoseÂ to Oracle Arena on Monday.
“It’s nothing about those two in particular, but I know what I have to do to be able to perform on this level,” Curry said. “There’s no reason, at this point in the season, to go out there on a 60-percent ankle and drag it on for the entire year.
“I don’t want to play at anything but 100 percent.”