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Report: Bucks’ Monta Ellis, Larry Sanders almost came to blows after Game 3

May 9, 2013, 1:06 PM EDT

Monta Ellis AP

If you wondered why everybody around the league thinks free agent Monta Ellis is bolting Milwaukee this summer (although he hasn’t made that official), we bring you this fun bit of news from the Bucks playoff run (if you can call getting swept by the Heat a run)…

Ellis and Bucks forward Larry Sanders almost had a locker room fight after Game 3 and had to be separated, reports Ken Berger at CBSSports.com. Because it never came to blows neither guy faced any discipline, but you can see what a messed up situation there was with the Bucks last season.

After the Bucks lost 104-91 to the Heat in Milwaukee on April 25, Sanders vented in the locker room and said in a fiery speech, “We need to start playing together as a team and stop worrying about next year,” according to one of the people briefed on the confrontation. “We need to stop being selfish and start worrying about right now.”

Ellis “took umbrage,” according to another person with knowledge of the situation. Correctly assuming that Sanders’ comments were directed primarily at him and backcourt mate Brandon Jennings, who both are prospective free agents, Ellis approached Sanders and squared off with him, sources said. A teammate got between the two players and separated them before the conflict became physical.

Interim coach Jim Boylan didn’t have control of the locker room and wasn’t going to stop this (which is why the Bucks want a “strong willed” new coach). Nor could he really get Ellis and Jennings to play smart basketball consistently, although every coach who has tried that has failed.

The Bucks are going to rework the roster pretty heavily this summer — Ellis will likely bolt, as will J.J. Redick. Jennings will try to bolt but the Bucks can match any offer he gets and likely will short of a max deal.

Also later in the story, Berger drops an interesting little note about the Kings maybe having interest in Ellis.

Oddly, a member of the proposed ownership group trying to keep the Kings in Sacramento has done some background checking on Ellis as a possibility for the Kings if the team decides to part ways with restricted free agent Tyreke Evans this summer, a league source involved in the discussions said.

Not sure that’s a good fit, but it’s something to watch.

  1. JMClarkent - May 9, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    Larry was right. I don’t know that they had a shot either way, but they would be much harder stop if they had decent ball movement and better backcourt shot selection.

  2. jgreen1516 - May 9, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Happened a month ago… old news… let’s move on here

  3. patfic15 - May 9, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    So the plan for the kings is to replace Evans with a player just like evans …good move Sacramento. This is why they stay in the cellar.

    • biasedhomer - May 9, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      Except Evans has improved this season, he has taken less shots, improved FG%, and improved 3P%, while cutting down on the turnovers. Meanwhile, Ellis has continued his regression.

  4. bougin89 - May 9, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    I gained more respect for Larry Sanders after reading this.

    • eboneseagles - May 9, 2013 at 2:31 PM

      Larry should be flattered bougin89 has his respect.

  5. eboneseagles - May 9, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    It’s hard to play with 2 inefficient iso ball hogs I guess, I mean the knicks do that sometimes but at least they’re good.

  6. louhudson23 - May 9, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    Ellis is Ellis,has been Ellis and will be Ellis….so,you get what you pay for….and someone will indeed pay him….

  7. acdc363 - May 9, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    Anyone see Movie 43? LOL Sanders and I think Jared Dudley were in the basketball portion. Funny stuff!

    • eboneseagles - May 9, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      Naw I don’t like wasting $11 on absolute drivel.

  8. joegalvan02 - May 9, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    Kings interested in an undersized combo guard? sounds about right….

  9. thomaskouns - May 9, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    No surprise. Living in the Bay Area, it’s no surprise to me how much better the Warriors are without Monte this year.

    I won’t have any sympathy for the dumb GMs that sign Ellis and Jennings this off-season and find out within three months that they have ‘players’ not ‘winners’ who don’t like taking direction with their guaranteed contracts.

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