On this episode of The HoopsHype Podcast, Alex Kennedy is joined by Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, who talked about what it was like being a star in New York, the Knicks’ pursuit of big-name players like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Zion Williamson, how the NBA has evolved and more. Time-stamps are below!
1:25: Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and “Black Jesus” are great nicknames. Monroe shares the origin of each nickname and why he didn’t like either moniker initially.
4:12: Monroe spent nine seasons on the New York Knicks and he won a championship with the organization in 1973. He discusses what it was like being a star in New York and how much he enjoyed his time there.
6:00: Because Monroe starred in New York and understands what that entails, he shares what he would tell any upcoming free agents who may consider signing with the Knicks.
7:20: Monroe went from playing for the Baltimore Bullets to the New York Knicks and discusses what that transition was like.
9:00: To this day, Monroe is stopped by Knicks fans. He says he’s surprised he remains an “A-list” celebrity in the city, and then he shares how his time in New York helped him grow on and off the court,
9:50: Monroe discusses some of the cons that come with playing in New York (such as the possibility of failing on a big stage, the tough media criticism, etc.).
10:30: During his 13 seasons in the NBA, he averaged 18.8 points. He discusses how he managed to be so consistent year after year.
12:20: Monroe popularized the “shake-and-bake” move popularized during his playing days. He explains the move’s origin and reveals who truly deserves credit for it.
14:00: Initially, basketball purists didn’t accept Monroe’s game, criticizing his flashiness and calling him a “hot dog.” Monroe finally quieted his critics when his production translated to wins and, ultimately, a championship.
14:55: Monroe shares his thoughts on the modern NBA, the evolution of the game and how he would fare in the league today.
16:50: Who are some of today’s stars whom Monroe enjoys watching?
17:35: A lot of New York fans are excited about the possibility of landing Zion Williamson with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Monroe weighs in on Zion’s game and what it’d be like to see him land in New York.
18:15: Just as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar said on The HoopsHype Podcast, Monroe doesn’t feel today’s players know much about the NBA’s history or show much respect to their retired peers who paved the way for them.
20:20: What today’s NBA superstars earn in a single season seemed unfathomable back when Monroe played. He reacts to the huge contracts that are around the NBA these days.
21:15: When Spencer Haywood was on The HoopsHype Podcast, he talked about how the National Basketball Players Association – led by LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Chris Paul and Kevin Durant among others – agreed to pay for high-quality healthcare coverage for retired players. This has really helped Monroe, who’s had 47 surgeries over the years.
23:30: Monroe shares some players from his era who don’t get enough credit or respect today.
27:30: Monroe is a Hall of Famer and his jersey has been retired by the Bullets and Knicks, but he admits that he feels underrated when it comes to his legacy. He also shares how he hopes to be remembered.
29:14: The NBA’s Most Valuable Player race is tough to call this year. Monroe shares his thoughts on this year’s candidates.
30:10: What advice would Monroe give to a young player who wants to follow in his footsteps and have a long, successful career in the NBA?
30:55: Monroe says he is open to helping the Knicks recruit players in free agency, but he isn’t sure how much of an impact his presence would have since he’s so far removed from playing and he’s worried his message may not resonate with today’s stars.
This episode is sponsored by Seat Geek! Be sure to download the Seat Geek app (or visit their website) and enter the promo code HOOPSHYPE for $10 off your first ticket purchase!