Despite scoring a career-high 48 points — tying him with Kobe Bryant for the most scored by any player in the league in one game this year — against the league’s best team on Tuesday, despite averaging a career-high in assists per game with 6.3 and averaging more than 20 points per game for the fourth time in the past five seasons, Monta Ellis is once again not an All-Star.
And the truth is, he couldn’t care less.
“Who cares?” he said about the All-Star selections before they were announced Thursday. “I’m a basketball player. I go play my heart out every night. That’s it.”
Unlike baseball, where every team must have at least one representative, the NBA’s All-Stars usually come from teams with winning records, leaving the Warriors without one since Latrell Sprewell in 1997.
While the Warriors as a team and Ellis in particular play their best games against elite opponents — he’s averaging 35.4 points in five games against Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Orlando and Miami — the Warriors are still 9-14 and fighting to stay out of last place in the Pacific Division.
Even his superhuman performance against the Thunder on Tuesday fell one basket short of getting a win.
Ellis admitted he and the team get amped up for big games.
“We have to break that cycle,” he said. “The games we should win, we’ve got to start winning, and the games like [the Thunder game] we should go out and compete and give ourselves a chance in.”
Teammate Stephen Curry said Ellis has earned a reputation as an elite player.
“That’s who he is, a prime-time guy who comes in and plays well,” Curry said. “He’s an All-Star in my book.”