Monta Ellis presents as a classic introvert in front of a microphone. Yet, despite the hunched shoulders and quiet responses, there's has to be more there than meets the eye.
We know Monta may have it all and certainly isn't shy on the court where he will aggressively hunt scoring opportunities. In reality, he just doesn't want to say much. There is a quiet confidence in everything he does say and various report suggest his voice is heard often among his teammates.
Candace Buckner digs into Ellis' past to help explain why he's stingy with his words and remains guarded in public in a fantastic profile of the veteran guard the Pacers are relying on to help change their style of play. Read the whole thing two or three times.
Among the revelations in the piece, we learn that Ellis had "minor" surgery on his left know prior to signing with the Pacers.
Ellis, whose right knee was repaired after high school, underwent surgery on the other knee before the start of free agency. The procedure was described as "minor," but after 11 years of wear and tear on those legs, the news could've cooled off the Pacers. But the team still wanted the missing piece to the new spread offense. So on the first official day of free agency, the Pacers strongly went after Ellis.
Inside The Capital Grille, Pacers coach Frank Vogel looked Juanika in the eyes and stressed that her husband was "perfect for what we're trying to get accomplished."
"Paul George is going to be back near strength, or at full strength," Vogel said, continuing his pitch to the Ellises. "You're the guy that's going to make his transition to the 4 (power forward position) work. This is not something we would even want to do without somebody of your caliber scoring the basketball and the speed you have."
Obviously, the Pacers had no concerns with the knee and went all in with a four-year contract. Hopefully, the surgery was indeed minor maintenance work. But as a preps-to-pros player who is about to turn 30 but is starting his 11th NBA season, breaking down before that deal is through will be a constant concern.