Earl the Pearl: My Story

Earl the Pearl: My Story

Paperback(Reprint)

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Overview

The complete autobiography of Earl "The Pearl" Monroe—now in paperback!

Earl "The Pearl" Monroe is a basketball legend whose impact on the game transcends statistics, a player known as much for his unorthodox, "playground" style of play as his championship pedigree. Observers said that watching him play was like listening to jazz, his moves resembling freefloating improvisations. "I don't know what I'm going to do with the ball," Monroe once admitted, "and if I don't know, I'm quite sure the guy guarding me doesn't know either."

Traded to the New York Knicks before the 1971–72 season, Monroe became a key member of the beloved, star-studded 1972–73 Knicks team that captured the NBA title. And now, for the first time in paperback, Monroe tells his remarkable story of that championship season and so much more.

Written with bestselling author Quincy Troupe (Miles, The Pursuit of Happyness), Earl the Pearl retraces Monroe's life from his upbringing in a tough South Philadelphia neighborhood through his record-setting days at Winston-Salem State, to his NBA Rookie of the Year season in 1967, his tremendous years with the Baltimore Bullets, and ultimately his redemptive, championship glory with the New York Knicks. Updated since first published in hardcover, the book culminates with a revealing epilogue in which Monroe reflects on the events of the past 45 years, offers his insights into the NBA today, and his thoughts on the future of the game he loves.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683583295
Publisher: Sports Publishing LLC
Publication date: 03/19/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 190,262
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Earl Monroe is one of the greatest and most beloved players in basketball history. Inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990 and named to the NBA's 50 Greatest Players list in 1996, Monroe left an indelible stylistic mark on the game of basketball. He lives in New York City.

Quincy Troupe is the author of seventeen books including Miles: The Autobiography of Miles Davis (with jazz legend Miles Davis) and The Pursuit of Happyness (with Chris Gardner), which was a New York Times bestseller for 40 weeks. He lives in New York City.

Senator Bill Bradley is a former politician and retired basketball player who won two championships as a member of the New York Knicks. A two-time Olympic gold medalist, Bradley has his number hanging above the rafters in Madison Square Garden, and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983. Along with a stellar basketball career, he was a three-term senator for the state of New Jersey.

Read an Excerpt

Earl "The Pearl" Monroe is a basketball legend whose impact on the game transcends statistics, a player known as much for his unorthodox, "playground" style of play as his championship pedigree. Observers said that watching him play was like listening to jazz, his moves resembling freefloating improvisations. "I don't know what I'm going to do with the ball," Monroe once admitted, "and if I don't know, I'm quite sure the guy guarding me doesn't know either."

Traded to the New York Knicks before the 1971–72 season, Monroe became a key member of the beloved, star-studded 1972–73 Knicks team that captured the NBA title. And now, for the first time in paperback, Monroe tells his remarkable story of that championship season and so much more.

Written with bestselling author Quincy Troupe (Miles, The Pursuit of Happyness), Earl the Pearl retraces Monroe's life from his upbringing in a tough South Philadelphia neighborhood through his record-setting days at Winston-Salem State, to his NBA Rookie of the Year season in 1967, his tremendous years with the Baltimore Bullets, and ultimately his redemptive, championship glory with the New York Knicks. Updated since first published in hardcover, the book culminates with a revealing epilogue in which Monroe reflects on the events of the past 45 years, offers his insights into the NBA today, and his thoughts on the future of the game he loves.

Table of Contents

Foreword Senator Bill Bradley v

Prologue ix

Part 1 Growing Up in South Philly: 1944 to 1959

Chapter 1 Early Life in South Philly 3

Chapter 2 Coming of Age, Junior High School, and My Introduction to Basketball: 1958 to 1959 33

Chapter 3 High School Years: 1959 to 1962 53

Part 2 Stepping on the Gas: Running Over Potholes on the Road to Glory

Chapter 4 Becoming a Star in South Philly: The Turning Point, Summer 1982 83

Chapter 5 A Lost Year: 1862 to 1963 93

Chapter 6 Lessons from My First Year at Winston-Salem: 1963 to 1964 103

Chapter 7 Reuniting with My Father: Summer 1964 119

Chapter 8 Reaching for Stardom in My Sophomore Year: 1964 to 1965 124

Chapter 9 Becoming "Black Jesus" in My Junior Year: 1965 to 1966 134

Chapter 10 Becoming "Earl the Pearl" in My Senior Year and the Pan American Games Debacle: 1966 to 1967 148

Part 3 My Hunger for NBA Respect and a Championship Ring

Chapter 11 A Paradigm Shift in Pro Basketball: My Rookie Year, 1967 to 1968 169

Chapter 12 Pressing Pedal to the Metal, Full Speed Ahead: 1968 to 1969 210

Chapter 13 Reaching for the Dream of an NBA Championship: 1969 to 1970 237

Chapter 14 The Pain of Getting Close But No Cigar: 1970 to 1971 259

Chapter 15 Leaving Baltimore and Going to Play for the "Enemy": 1971 to 1972 283

Chapter 16 The Death of My Mother and the NBA Holy Grail: 1972 to 1973 317

Epilogue: My Take an NBA Basketball and the Future of the Jame 353

Acknowledgements 400

Index 402

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Earl The Pearl: My Story 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Earl Monroe played basketball on a different level than mere mortals, with jaw-dropping skill that glued me to my TV. I remember his battles with Clyde Frazier who was one of the top guards in the NBA. Earl explains how he attained such a high level of play and in the process conveys a message that many youths today can benefit from. Earl Monroe was not the greatest athlete in the world. He couldn't jump like Dr. J, didn't have the size or strength of Wilt Chamberlain or the speed and quickness of Calvin Murphy. What he had was a good head on his shoulders. He also had a loving mother who supported him and fueled his competitive spirit. On the playgrounds of Philadelphia, Earl watched other players and listened to what they said. He and his friends shared their knowledge to help each other improve, often passing along knowledge learned from older players. Earl tweaked different moves to fit his own abilities and practiced them until they became instinctive. He followed his mother's advice of keeping a notebook listing everyone who was better than him and seeking them out as competition. If he got beat, he figured out why, adjusted his game, and came back better than before. Once he could finally beat a player on his list, he crossed their name off and moved on to someone else. He became the best player on the playgrounds in Philadelphia. When he played organized ball, he listened to what his coaches said and integrated those fundamentals, such as screening and moving without the ball. His coach at Winston Salem State University, Clarence Gaines, made him sit the bench his first year of college even though he was the best player on the team. Earl didn't like that but he benefited from observing the rhythm of the game and thinking of how he could best impact the game on rare occasions that he saw playing time. He got better every year at Winston Salem and graduated after winning a national championship while leading the nation with 42 points per game and shooting over 60 per cent from the field. Earl refers to this recurring process of watching, listening, practicing, and testing new moves against top competition as the "science of the game" approach. Indeed as the great philosopher of science Karl Popper once said, "Good tests kill flawed theories; we remain alive to guess again". The scientific approach was Earl's way of life and he kept at it even after winning NBA rookie of the year. For example, he played in the Baker league during the NBA off-seasons, which was less scripted than NBA games and allowed him to test new moves against top professionals. He developed such a diverse repertoire that he could adjust to any style of play and be successful. He made the necessary adjustment and became an NBA champion after he was traded from the Bullets to the Knicks. I was surprised at how open and honest the book was in terms of Earl's personal life. I watch Earl sometimes when he is a commentator on Knicks telecasts and he is more reserved in that venue. Earl doesn't hold back in this book and allows readers to really get to know him. One point that floored me was that Earl has endured 30 operations as a result of his basketball playing days. His mother taught him not to complain about things like that and he lives life to the fullest. Although he may not realize it, he continues to inspire. Steve Watkins, Author of "Finding a Rhythm: Basketball Scoring Fundamentals Based on Science"