Monty Love Proves Just How Flawed Our Memories Are

Published: January 13, 2016

One thing you can say about Monty coached teams – They always played with effort.

I have seen this sentence or one like it literally dozens of times in the past few weeks. The first thing I did when I read it was google ‘Multiverse Theory’. Seems odd, I know, but I was convinced that I had woken up in a different universe than the one I was living in last year, and I wanted to know how I could get back home. But it turns out that I am in the same universe and the only thing that has changed are people’s memories of the past.

“Lack of Effort” (something I don’t completely believe in as a reason BTW), was cited by Monty, writers, and fans after multiple game last year. Remember getting blown out by Orlando or the East coast trip that saw the Pelicans lose to the Sixers and Knicks? Was lack of talent or X’s and O’s the rationale then? Nope. They “didn’t play with consistent effort.”

Hmm….. Sounds familiar.

I understand that some Monty Williams teams overachieved and I think that those are the teams fans are remembering. The ones that had Jack, Belinelli, and Jason Smith starting, yet hung tough with the Spurs late in March. The ones that had all the reason in the world to tank, but killed themselves every night to hang tough and then got rewarded with the ping-pong balls the following year. Yes, I remember those teams too, but I remember them being full of a bunch of guys who were hungry to prove themselves in this league. Guys who were cast off by their former teams and had one foot out of the league. Yes, those guys might have played hard for Monty, but you can also argue they were playing hard for their own livelihood.

The oversimplified issue with the current roster is that the team is made up of guys whose bank accounts are far more impressive than their list of career accomplishments.  How hungry can you be when you spend your career losing and the reward is a contract for 44, 58, or heck, even 140 million dollars? Why not just go full Tyreke and, in his own words, “get mine”? The system has shown you that it will reward you regardless of your win/loss record anyway, so why sacrifice and put every ounce of energy out there when the result will be the same regardless?

This team needs a Draymond Green, a Danny Green, or a John Starks for those of you a little older. Where is the guy who has one foot out the door, a chip on his shoulder, and is making the league minimum, yet the talent to make it big on this roster? Where is the junkyard dog who will fight to the death for what is his and remain hungry for that next battle even after he wins? That is the type of guy Gentry is searching for, and the types he had in Golden State last year. Monty had a couple of those guys back in 2011 – back when you remember the effort. But don’t get it twisted – many of you were complaining about these same issues last year.

Or don’t you remember?

Other Musings

  • The Joe Dumars rumors should scare you, but not for the reasons many of you are scared. Yes, the Josh Smith, Ben Gordon, and Charlie V. signings were all bad, but every decision maker has strikeouts. I actually prefer the guy who has stepped up to the plate and whiffed over the one who has no experience swinging because you learn from mistakes. A newbie taking on the GM job would have a learning curve that someone who has done it before might not. But the Dumars rumors should scare you because, if true, it means that there will be no process. When making a decision this big, you should talk to everybody possible with an open mind and get the person who blows you away in that process. Hiring a guy you know without doing that is bad business, plain and simple.
  • I often hear that we won’t get much for Ryno or Gordon because they are simply a half season rental and teams won’t pony up for that. I don’t agree. At least, I don’t agree that the teams trading for them will think that. If a team wants Ryan Anderson, they will want him for this year and beyond. And history says that if a team wants to keep a non-superstar player, they likely will. Now, I understand that the cap explosion will mean that almost everybody has money and Bird Rights isn’t as big of an advantage this year, but players usually stay for the same reason almost all of us stay at our jobs – because the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. Also, teams have more faith in themselves than people give them credit for. Do you think the Celtics think than Ryan Anderson would leave them if they traded for him today and wanted to re-sign him on July 1st? Or do you think that they believe he will fall in love with Stevens, Ainge, and the history of the franchise and want to stay? Of course its the latter.
  • Starting this weekend, the Pelicans can trade anybody on their roster. That is not the case right now, as Ajinca and Asik can not be moved because they were re-signed using Bird Rights this summer. The only minor exception to my opening sentence is that Norris Cole has to say yes to any trade he is involved in, as he effectively has a no trade clause. Barring a trade sending him to a horrible team, though, I can’t imagine Cole turning down a chance to vacate this dumpster fire.
  • I have said for a couple of years now that our guards have low basketball IQ’s, and have mostly talked about Gordon and Evans, but Jrue does not get a pass. He takes bad shots and gambles at terrible times defensively. Last night, on the most important defensive possession, was one of those times and afterwards Gentry was furious towards Jrue and completely dismissive when Jrue tried to explain himself. He gets no pass.
  • Lastly, this losing streak is the best thing that could have happened for the franchise long term. For me, the writing was on the wall after the Boston game, but management did not feel that way. Now, reality has started to set in and steps will be made to do what should haven been done for the past three weeks. Making the decision on Pondexter was step one, bringing in a few guys for a 10-day trial will be step two, and then trading guys with an eye on the future will be step 3. Oh, and hopefully Silver rigging the ping pong balls will be step 4.


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