Monta Ellis is starting to make the news again today following his surgery last Wednesday on his left ankle, which will leave Golden State’s starting point guard on the bench for at least three months. Baron Davis is gone, and the Warriors were banking on Ellis to step right into his role, signing Monta to a six-year deal worth $66 million. Normally, this type of issue would be an ESPN headline, but would not be covered on this blog. But Monta’s situation is unique, as he injured his ankle during the offseason, in his hometown, while he was “working out”. In fact, the injury occurred outdoors, and not in a gym. Who cares? Monta Ellis and his agent, Jeffrey Fried of Peake Management Group do.
If Monta Ellis is found to have participated in activity banned by his Uniform Player Contract, his contract could be terminated at worst (if it were a career ending injury), or at a minimum, may be fined or suspended by his team.
Paragraph 12 of the NBA Uniform Player Contract reads as follows:
12.OTHER ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES.
The Player and the Team acknowledge and agree that the Player’s participation in certain other activities may impair or destroy his ability and skill as a basketball player, and the Player’s participation in any game or exhibition of basketball other than at the request of the Team may result in injury to him. Accordingly, the Player agrees that he will not, without the written consent of the Team, engage in any activity that a reasonable person would recognize as involving or exposing the participant to a substantial risk of bodily injury including, but not limited to: (i) sky-diving, hang gliding, snow skiing, rock or mountain climbing (as distinguished from hiking), rappelling, and bungee jumping; (ii) any fighting, boxing, or wrestling; (iii) driving or riding on a motorcycle or moped; (iv) riding in or on any motorized vehicle in any kind of race or racing contest; (v) operating an aircraft of any kind; (vi) engaging in any other activity excluded or prohibited by or under any insurance policy which the Team procures against the injury, illness or disability to or of the Player, or death of the Player, for which the Player has received written notice from the Team prior to the execution of this Contract; or (vii) participating in any game or exhibition of basketball, football, baseball, hockey, lacrosse, or other team sport or competition. If the Player violates this Paragraph 12, he shall be subject to discipline imposed by the Team and/or the Commissioner of the NBA. Nothing contained herein shall be intended to require the Player to obtain the written consent of the Team in order to enable the Player to participate in, as an amateur, the sports of golf, tennis, handball, swimming, hiking, softball, volleyball, and other similar sports that a reasonable person would not recognize as involving or exposing the participant to a substantial risk of bodily injury.
The fact that Monta Ellis lied in the first place makes me doubt that he was partaking in one of the acceptable activities listed at the end of Paragraph 12. The guy was definitely not playing handball. Most likely, he was playing a pick-up game of basketball or playing a friendly game of football. Additionally, Ellis will need to prove that whatever activity he was partaking in was one that a reasonable person would not recognize as one that may involve the potential of significant risk. Good luck to Mr. Ellis and his agent.