The Warriors retired Chris Mullins’ jersey Monday during halftime of Golden State’s 97-93 loss to Minnesota. When owner Joe Lacob spoke during the ceremony, fans booed. They booed a lot. Mullin asked for their support. Rick Barry lectured them. Fans were apparently upset that ownership traded their precious Monta Ellis. Why, without Monta, who will lead the Warriors back to the lottery for a 5th consecutive season?
Some people think that Lacob shouldn’t have put himself in the position to begin with. There must have been some signs that public sentiment was not in ownerships favor following the deal that sent Ellis to Milwaukee. What better time to voice their opposition than when Lacob was trying to speak at center court? Ellis has always been a capable scorer, but the Warriors haven’t had any success with him as the star player. Golden State won a playoff series during Ellis’ second season, but he took a backseat to Baron Davis, Stephen Jackson and other veterans that year.
Since that season, Golden State fans have been widely-regarded as one of the best crowds in the NBA. It was that atmosphere at Oracle Arena that helped propel the Warriors to a first round upset of the top-seed Dallas Mavericks in 2007. After five straight years of missing the playoffs, those fans had earned the right to let off some steam and show management they weren’t impressed. Though they probably could have picked a better time to do that.