Monta Ellis broke his ankle in a moped accident in 2008 shortly after signing a six-year, $66 million contract extension.
Ellis received support from then-general manager Chris Mullin, but the Warriors wanted him to return an additional $500,000 beyond the nearly $3 million he had already agreed to.
The situation revealed the developing rift between Mullin, former owner Chris Cohan and former team president Robert Rowell.
Mullin left the franchise in May of 2009.
"Chris Mullin, he had my back 100 percent," Ellis says. "And they jerked him off. Then when they jerked him off because he was sticking up for me as being a guy who made a mistake or a young man who made a mistake, when they did that to him, I was totally off the organization then. There wasn't nothing I could do then, because who could I trust? The people that I could trust in the organization, you had just sent them away. It was a dark cloud from then on with the owner in that organization there."
The Warriors were eventually sold to a group led by Joe Lacob in 2010. Ellis was traded in a deal for Andrew Bogut at the 2012 deadline.
"The thing is with that, you trade me, you didn't let my agent know that you were going to trade me," he says. "The killing thing about that, I'm in Sacramento, the trade deadline is going on and I talked to them. We talked to them. They said, 'You're not getting traded. You're not going anywhere. Get ready for the game.' I'm cool with that. We were just two games out of the eighth spot for playoffs. We rolling. Everybody's jelling. We good. I get from the hotel to the gym. I'm getting dressed, the next thing you know, it comes on the bottom of the screen. One of my teammates sees it. I say, 'Nah, I ain't getting traded. They said I'm not getting traded.' At the bottom of the screen, it comes across again. I'm fitting to go out there and work out for the game. Then Mark Jackson brings me back, he tells me, 'Well, they didn't want me to tell you, but I'm going to be a man and tell you we traded you.' Those were his exact words."
Lacob was subsequently booed at Mullin's jersey retirement in Oakland during the next week, at least in part because of the unpopular decision to trade Ellis. Other reasons that played a part were the new ownership's clear wishes to relocate to San Francisco, as well as guaranteeing a playoff spot before the start of the season.
"After everything I've done for that organization, playing through injuries, going out there every night, competing every night, leaving everything on the floor, for them to do me the way they did, it stung a little bit," Ellis says of the trade. "At the same time, I put some dirt on it and moved on."
Ellis seems to prefer the culture with the Milwaukee Bucks over the Warriors.
"The difference here?" Ellis says. "You've got guys over here that actually play hard. Over there, guys didn't play hard. They didn't play hard at all. They make it out to seem like 'Monta was the selfish guy. He was always the one complaining.' But if you look at it, I was averaging five or six assists throughout my whole career, top five in steals for at least six of the eight years I've been in the NBA. What more can I do? Everything was pointed at me. Everything was pointed at Monta. But what more you want me to do? You had [me] guarding the best player every night. There's nothing else I can do."