Why Klay Thompson felt for Monta Ellis when Warriors traded him to Bucks


On March 13, 2012, the Warriors went on the road and beat the Kings, 115-89.

But you probably remember that date for something completely unrelated to the final score.

In case you forgot: In the hours leading up to the opening tip, the Warriors agreed to trade fan-favorite Monta Ellis to the Bucks in exchange for center Andrew Bogut.

"I think I realized the harsh reality of the business of the NBA my rookie year," Klay Thompson recently told Maverick Carter of Uninterrupted. "I remember we were in Arco Arena playing the Kings, and Monta got traded. He had to find out through SportsCenter. 

"I felt for him because he had given the Warriors eight great years. It's just the unfortunate side -- that instant news cycle -- he had to find out like that. I felt for him. I learned a lot playing with Monta.

"And just the free agency part of that team -- you're expendable. You're an asset to an NBA franchise, so you got to make the most of it while you're in it. I've been blessed to be with one franchise. That's rare."

Golden State selected Monta in the second round (No. 40 overall) of the 2005 draft. After the Warriors picked Steph Curry in 2009 and then Klay in 2011, you had a feeling Monta's time with the franchise was coming to an end.

[RELATEDKlay reveals financial mistakes from early in Dubs career]

Through the first 38 games (one start) of his rookie season, Klay averaged 8.0 points in just 17.2 minutes per game. After the Monta trade, he started all 28 games and averaged 18.6 points in 34.1 minutes per night.

Breaking news -- it was a good trade for Golden State.

And one final tangent -- here's an excerpt from the AP recap of the Dubs' win over the Kings the night Monta was shipped to Milwaukee:

Ellis exchanged goodbyes with stunned teammates, then quickly left the arena for the unexpected quick return trip to Oakland with (Ekpe) Udoh, who appeared shocked after learning of the trade on a locker room TV.

Such is life in the NBA.

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