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Pearls Of Wisdom: Earl Monroe FromtheBaseline.com interview

Written by BigC on . Posted in Basketball Blogs

(Big C) The other day I had a chance to sit down with Hall-of-Famer Earl “the Pearl” Monroe. He shared his views on many issues, everything from pure point guards vs the combo guard to players making the jump from high school to the N.B.A.

During our talk, Earl the Pearl pointed out that a point guard should be able to score. It’s not enough for a point guard to pass the ball.

Monroe feels it hurts the team when the point guard just wants to pass and does not mix it up. As fans we are often under the impression that the best thing to have is a pure point guard. However, that is not always true. If a guard can’t score then it is easy for his defender to play help defense on the other teammates.

As you already know, it has been debated for years, whether players should or should not be allowed to enter the NBA right out of high school.

There are pros and cons on either side. Earl Monroe does a great job supporting the argument for young players to go to college before going into the NBA.

Here are some highlights of the interview I had with Earl “the Pearl” Monroe:


FromtheBaseline.com: Earl, how do you feel about the point guard position? Do you think it is getting better or is it deteriorating?


Earl Monroe: I look at the combination guards. I don’t look at just the point guard per say. You have someone that is a leader on the team to lead a team.

You look at the last playoff run, and then look at Rondo. He had a great series. But at the same time everyone was talking about him not being able to shoot from the outside to keep the defense honest.

You have guys like Steve Nash who can control the game and know how to put the ball in the basket. As well as Chris Paul.

As far as I am concerned I enjoy the combination guard.


FromtheBaseline.com: So in reality you feel that being a pure point guard limits you?


Earl Monroe: I feel if you can shoot the ball that means no one is going to come up to you.

That means the defense is pulling back from guarding you… they are just going to clog up the middle up. I like a guard that can do it all.

NBA Players Making the Jump to the NBA


FromtheBaseline.com: Should players go to college? Or do you feel they should go straight to the NBA?


Earl Monroe: I feel at least get some education. Once you have an education your maturity level goes up.

You have to look at the maturity aspect when a player comes into the league.


I would like for the players to have to participate more years in college. I think players need a little section of time to learn more about the game. There is a learning curve.

What you have is guys coming into league that don’t have that type of experience. When they get into the league then they are starting to learn. Their learning is depleted.

The players get better as time goes on in their career. When you think of teams winning a championship, the veteran teams are the ones that win. Not the young teams.


FromtheBaseline.com: Then what would you say to someone who says, “Look at Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and Amar’e Stoudemire." What would you say to a person that says that?


Earl Monroe: When you look at it like that, you have look at guys that came out and none of them made it.

You have to look at the percentages. Some people may be able to do that. But the majority of players are not going to be able to do that.


Coaches getting fired in the NBA


FromtheBaseline.com: What do you think about the situation where a coach may only get one year to prove himself? Do you feel coaches are not getting a fair chance to show they can coach? Are coaches doing a good job or are they not given enough time to develop their team?


Earl Monroe: Well if you have a team you have to have players.

If the players do not do well the only person to blame is the coach... you can’t fire a team.

So I don’t know if a coach is getting a fair shot, but in a nutshell if you are going to be a coach you better hope your team has some players on it.


And there you have it, excerpts of my conversation with Earl “the Pearl” Monroe. I would like to thank him for taking some time out to sit and chat with me about life and the game of basketball.

Thank you Earl Monroe.

-Big C