When former New York Knicks superstar Earl ‘The Pearl’ Monroe speaks, you listen.
Four time NBA All Star, NBA Champion and one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players, Monroe chatted appeared on the Scoop B Radio Podcast and discussed his views on AAU basketball.
“We have seen a change in what basketball is and what it means to people,” he told podcast host Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson. “And I think that in a nut shell makes a big difference in terms of just basketball in general.”
Last season, retired NBA player, Kobe Bryant, who entered the NBA straight out of high school expressed his displeasure with AAU basketball stating: “I hate it because it doesn’t teach our players how to play the right way, how to think the game, how to play in combinations of threes.”
Monroe’s shared similar thoughts:
“You know I always thought American basketball was strong. I felt as the game started here and I never really felt as though we should have pros play at the Olympics but be that as it may AAU you know takes guys and they really use the talent of the guys as opposed to teaching the guys. Its interesting that you find today that you see a team like the Knicks and [last season] Coach Fisher talks about teaching guys things at the pro level. So that leads you to believe that as guys come up from junior high or high school or what not they are not getting the same type of teaching as we got coming up and I know Kobe might be a little right in what he says but the same time the game has changed. It has gotten faster you don’t have centers the way you used to you got everybody that is basically a forward or a guard today so you know the scope of basketball is a lot different and obviously everything has to change.”
Monroe also dived in on the expansion of basketball and how it affected the European game.
“I think that you know it bodes well for those guys in my era and before who played a game in a way that influenced the guys today. When you see the European that are coming over and play today in the league you see a lot of the things that we used to do. I think that they are more adverse in fundamentals is concerned and the guys here obviously you know we have had opportunity to see TV and we emulate more than learn but at the same time we all raise at the spectrum of what the game is right now it being a global sport and we all need to be happy about that.”
Monroe even talked about the state of the New York Knicks.
His advice to the struggling Knicks? “Stick with what you’ve got and let it mature into a winning team.”
“You know more than likely when you look back on the history of the Knicks, in the last ten to fifteen years it’s just constant change and you come in to having four or five guys playing together and then you are trading.”