Steph Curry, Monta Ellis weren’t good pair together, Jerry West says

For two and a half seasons, Monta Ellis and Steph Curry co-existed on the Warriors.

But the team didn’t find any success with the undersized backcourt duo.

So in the middle of the 2011-12 season, the Warriors broke up the pair by trading Ellis and Ekpe Udoh to the Milwaukee Bucks for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson.

That move was the beginning of an on-court revitalization for the Warriors. Curry was free to take control of the team, and the franchise has gone to heights it could only dream of over the last eight years.

Ellis was a fan favorite for Dub Nation, so the trade stung. But former Warriors executive Jerry West believes Curry is who he is today because of the Ellis trade.

«I think when there was a trade made up there, it gave him more room to do things, and also have the ball in his hands,» West told 95.7 The Game’s Damon Bruce, Ray Ratto and Matt Kolsky on Friday. «If you have someone that can do something really well and you don’t have the ball in your hands or you don’t have players that compliment you, it’s tougher to reach the excellence he’s reached.

«A very popular player during my time up there, Monta Ellis was traded and to me, that opened up [Curry’s] ability to become who he is today. I think it made him more confident. They weren’t a good, I think, pair together, and they were both terrific players, really terrific players. But I think Steph was the person that had the most growth left in him, and when Monta left, you’re seeing Steph Curry of today.»

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The next season, the Warriors began a streak of seven straight playoff appearances. Curry’s greatness started to shine brightly and it quickly became clear the Warriors made the right choice to trade Ellis.

With Klay Thompson taking over the shooting guard spot next to Curry, the duo formed one of the most lethal backcourts the NBA has ever seen.

[RELATED: Steph wears Monta jersey to Oracle finale]

Curry would go on to win the NBA MVP award in 2014-15 and 2015-16 while guiding the Warriors to three NBA titles and five straight appearances in the NBA Finals.

The NBA has been revolutionized by Curry over the last decade, and it might not have happened if the Warriors had hung on to Ellis.

Steph Curry, Monta Ellis weren’t good pair together, Jerry West says originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area