Monta Ellis was in a very good mood after scoring 18 points in the Mavericks’ 105-91 victory over Memphis on Wednesday night. In the process, Ellis shot 4-for-7 in the second half, breaking out of a mini-shooting-slump that had seen him shoot 12-for-32 in the previous two-and-a-half games.

Ellis hollered good-naturedly across the locker room at teammates, chattered to reporters and smiled and shrugged when asked about being zinged by former Mavericks and Warriors coach Don Nelson in a
Sports Illustrated story that’s out this week.

“He’s going to say what he’s going to say; I’ll take it or leave it,” Ellis said, loudly enough for anyone within a 10-foot proximity to hear. “People have been saying things about me my whole career.”

Sports Illustrated writer Chris Ballard visited Hall of Famer Nelson at his Maui home. Nelson is the father of Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson.

To put Don Nelson’s comments about Ellis in the proper context, he was talking about the Monta Ellis he coached at Golden State from 2006 to 2010. Nelson pointed out to Ballard that Ellis has “matured” and become “a pretty good player right now.”

But the Ellis of 2006-2010, Don Nelson said, was a “pain” and “selfish,” among other unflattering adjectives.