Sunday, Oct. 3, 2010
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) Earl "The Pearl" Monroe said he hadn't been to an NBA training camp in 30 years, when he was starting his final season as a player.
Monroe stopped by the Washington Wizards camp this week as part of the franchise's concerted effort this season to re-connect the current team with its proud past. Monroe played four full seasons with the Baltimore Bullets — and his No. 10 jersey hangs in the rafters at the Verizon Center.
Monroe was eager to break his long hiatus because he said he wanted to get in on the ground floor of what he believes will be a team on the rise.
Over his 13-year career, Monroe averaged 18.8 points per game thanks to his playground skills, which allowed him to get off acrobatic shots in traffic and over defenders. He was the No. 2 pick in the 1967 draft by the Bullets, where he set several scoring marks — including points in game — that were eventually eclipsed by Gilbert Arenas.