Earl Monroe

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Earl Monroe
EarlthePearlatBarnes&Noble.JPG
No. 33, 10, 15
Guard
Personal information
Born(1944-11-21) November 21, 1944 (age 69)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Listed weight185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High schoolJohn Bartram
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
CollegeWinston-Salem State (1963–1967)
NBA draft1967 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Baltimore Bullets
Pro playing career1967–1980
Career history
19671972Baltimore Bullets
19711980New York Knicks
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points17,454 (18.8 ppg)
Rebounds2,796 (3.0 rpg)
Assists3,594 (3.9 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
 
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Earl Monroe
EarlthePearlatBarnes&Noble.JPG
No. 33, 10, 15
Guard
Personal information
Born(1944-11-21) November 21, 1944 (age 69)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Listed weight185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High schoolJohn Bartram
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
CollegeWinston-Salem State (1963–1967)
NBA draft1967 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Baltimore Bullets
Pro playing career1967–1980
Career history
19671972Baltimore Bullets
19711980New York Knicks
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points17,454 (18.8 ppg)
Rebounds2,796 (3.0 rpg)
Assists3,594 (3.9 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

Vernon Earl "The Pearl" Monroe (born November 21, 1944, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American former professional basketball player known for his flamboyant dribbling, passing, and play-making. He was nicknamed both "Earl the Pearl" and "Jesus".

Career[edit]

Early years[edit]

From an early age, Monroe was a playground legend. His high school teammates at John Bartram High School called him "Thomas Edison" because of the many moves he invented.

Monroe rose to prominence at a national level while playing basketball at then Division II Winston-Salem State University, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Under Hall of Fame coach Clarence "Big House" Gaines, Monroe averaged 7.1 points his freshman year, 23.2 points as a sophomore, 29.8 points as a junior and an amazing 41.5 points his senior year. In 1967, he earned NCAA College Division Player of the Year honors and led the Rams to the NCAA College Division Championship.

Baltimore Bullets[edit]

In 1967, the two-time All-American was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets (now the Washington Wizards) in the first round of the NBA draft (second overall pick). He won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in a season in which he averaged 24.3 points per game, and scored 56 points in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers. This still stands as the third-highest rookie total in NBA history. It was also a franchise record, later broken by Gilbert Arenas on December 17, 2006.

He and teammate Wes Unseld quickly became a formidable combination in Baltimore, and Monroe became a cult hero for his ability to run the fast break and for his circus-like shots. He said, "The thing is, I don't know what I'm going to do with the ball, and if I don't know, I'm quite sure the guy guarding me doesn't know either."[1] On February 6, 1970, he set an NBA record with 13 points in one overtime in a double-overtime victory over the Detroit Pistons (another mark since surpassed by Arenas).

After the 1970–1971 season, Monroe's agent Larry Fleischer told the Bullets of Monroe's wishes to be traded to the Lakers, Bulls or Sixers. After four games into the 1971–1972 season, he traveled to Indianapolis to discuss a transfer to the American Basketball Association's Indiana Pacers.[2] He was then traded to the New York Knicks later in the season.

On December 1, 2007 the Washington Wizards retired Monroe's number 10 jersey.

New York Knicks[edit]

In 1971, Monroe was traded to the New York Knicks and formed what was known as the "Rolls Royce Backcourt" with the equally flamboyant Walt Frazier. While there were initial questions as to whether Monroe and Frazier could coexist as teammates, the duo eventually meshed to become one of the most effective guard combinations of all time, leading the Knicks to the 1973 NBA championship. That pairing is one of few backcourts ever to feature two Hall of Famers and NBA 50th Anniversary Team members.

A four-time NBA All-Star, Monroe retired after the 1980 season due to serious knee injuries, which had plagued him throughout his career. He had played 926 NBA career games, scored 17,454 total points (18.8 ppg) and dished out 3,594 assists. Monroe had his number 15 jersey retired by the Knicks on March 1, 1986.

Even Monroe admits that his flowing, fluid, silky-smooth on-court style of play was unique. He has said: "You know, I watch the games and even now I never see anyone who reminds me of me, the way I played."[3]

NBA statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
1967–68Baltimore8236.7.453.7815.74.324.3
1968–69Baltimore8038.4.440.7683.54.925.8
1969–70Baltimore8237.2.446.8303.14.923.4
1970–71Baltimore8135.1.442.8022.64.421.4
1971–72Baltimore334.3.406.7222.73.321.7
1971–72New York6020.6.436.7861.52.211.4
1972–73New York7531.6.488.8223.33.815.5
1973–74New York4129.1.468.8233.02.7.8.514.0
1974–75New York7836.1.457.8274.23.51.4.420.9
1975–76New York7638.0.478.7873.64.01.5.320.7
1976–77New York7734.5.517.8392.94.81.2.319.9
1977–78New York7631.2.495.8322.44.8.8.317.8
1978–79New York6421.8.471.8381.23.0.8.112.3
1979–80New York5112.4.457.875.71.3.4.17.4
Career92632.0.464.8073.03.91.0.318.8
All-Star4321.3.359.7063.02.8.3.010.0

Career highs[edit]

40 point games[edit]

Monroe might have had additional games of exactly 40 points during the 1967–68 and 1968–69 seasons.

PointsOpponentHome/AwayDateMinutes
played
FGMFGAFTMFTAReboundsAssists
56Los Angeles LakersHomeFebruary 13, 196820331622
49Detroit PistonsHomeFebruary 24, 1968161726
46Philadelphia 76ersHomeMarch 20, 196819398
45Philadelphia 76ersHomeFebruary 3, 19681711
44Cincinnati RoyalsAwayFebruary 17, 19681612
42San Francisco WarriorsAwayMarch 5, 196918366
41Milwaukee BucksAwayFebruary 7, 1969177
41Chicago BullsAwayMarch 21, 1969203313
40San Francisco WarriorsHomeMarch 21, 1970131414

Regular season[edit]

StatHighOpponentDate
Points56vs. Los Angeles LakersFebruary 13, 1968
Points, half (2nd)37vs. Los Angeles LakersFebruary 13, 1968
Points, overtime13vs. Detroit PistonsFebruary 6, 1970
Field goal percentage
Field goals made20vs. Los Angeles LakersFebruary 13, 1968
Field goals made20at Chicago BullsMarch 21, 1969
Field goal attempts39vs. Philadelphia 76ersMarch 20, 1968
Free throws made, none missed14—14vs. San Francisco WarriorsMarch 21, 1970
Free throws made, one missed
Free throws made17vs. Detroit PistonsFebruary 24, 1968
Free throw attempts26vs. Detroit PistonsFebruary 24, 1968
Rebounds17
Assists13
Steals
Blocked shots
Minutes played

Playoffs[edit]

StatHighOpponentDate
Points39 (2 OT)at New York KnicksMarch 26, 1970
Field goal percentage
Field goals made14 (2 OT)at New York KnicksMarch 26, 1970
Field goals made14vs. New York KnicksMarch 31, 1970
Field goal attempts35vs. New York KnicksMarch 27, 1969
Free throws made, none missed
Free throws made, one missed
Free throws made13
Free throw attempts15
Rebounds9
Assists7
Steals
Blocked shots
Minutes played54 (2 OT)at New York KnicksMarch 26, 1970

Legacy[edit]

Off the court[edit]

Monroe interacting with the public at Barnes & Noble book signing in New York.

Endorsements[edit]

From 1980 to 1981, Monroe had an endorsement deal with Jordache for a signature line of basketball sneakers that bore his nickname "Pearl" near the heel.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Monroe's biography at". Nba.com. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  2. ^ Sheridan, Chris (2011-06-13). "For Monroe, ring not always the thing". ESPNNewYork.com. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  3. ^ Jacobson, Mark (2005-10-31). "Knicks Legend Earl the Pearl Monroe Ups the Ante on Jock Food". Nymag.com. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  4. ^ http://www.theriverroomofharlem.com/
  5. ^ "NBA Legends Frazier and Monroe Team up Once More to Educate". Diabeteshealth.com. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  6. ^ "Home Court of Diabetes Restaurant Month". Journeyforcontrol.com. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  7. ^ Klingaman, Mike (2009-10-06). "Catching Up With...former Bullet Earl Monroe". The Toy Department. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  8. ^ "About". Reverse Spin Records. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  9. ^ "Jordache Earl “The Pearl” Monroe Sneaker 1980-1981 « DeFY. New York-Sneakers,Music,Fashion,Life". Defynewyork.com. 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 

Monroe, Earl; Troupe, Quincy (2013). Earl The Pearl: My Story. 

External links[edit]