Vernon Earl Monroe is a former NBA basketball player whose nicknames have included; Earl the Pearl, Black Magic and Black Jesus. Drafted in the first round of the NBA draft in 1967 to the Baltimore Bullets (now the Washington Wizards), Earl Monroe was well known for his playing passing and play-making style and for his flamboyant flowing dribbling.
Earl Monroe received the Rookie of The Year due to his scoring average of 24 points in a game and to later score 56 points in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers. He also set a record for scoring 13 points in one overtime victory against the Detroit Pistons. In 2007 his number 10 jersey was retired by the Washington Wizards.
In 1971, Monroe was traded to the New York Knicks, taking them to the 1973 NBA Championships. Monroe retired in the 1980 season due to serious injuries to his knees. A four time NBA all-star had played in 926 NBA career games and had an outstanding 17, 454 total points scored. The New York Knicks retired Monroe’s number 15 jersey. He transformed the game of basketball to an art form. His style and unique playing on-court plays paved the way to how current players play today. Todays players must give a salute to Earl the Pearl bringing excitement and skills to the game of basketball. Players like Kobe Bryant and Lebron James all show skills that were learned thanks to Earl.
Earl the Pearl’s career championships include; named of the 50 players on the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996, enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame, and was chosen commissioner of the United States Basketball League in 1985.