TKB Q&A: Earl ‘The Pearl’ Monroe on Phil, Carmelo and more

Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer

As the Knicks await Carmelo Anthony’s free agency decision, it’s fair to remain cautiously optimistic. If he opts to remain in the Big Apple, such a decision will say the superstar believes in Phil Jackson’s vision for success. With Anthony on board and Jackson running the show, a new window for championship hopes in New York might just crack open once again.

USATSI_7211004_110579513_lowresSomeone who knows what that experience is like all too well is Knicks’ legend Earl “The Pearl” Monroe. Having won an NBA championship in New York (alongside Jackson, in fact) Monroe recalls just how sweet it is to achieve success in the Big Apple.

I caught up with the former flashy floor general to discuss some of the latest hot-topics surrounding the team. Continue reading below for Monroe’s thoughts on Phil Jackson, Carmelo Anthony’s future and what he is up to now…


Schlosser: This is obviously a transitional period for the Knicks. What do you think of the job your former teammate, Phil Jackson, has done so far?

Monroe: It’s a matter of building up again. They’ve done a good job of upgrading their basketball situation. Getting Samuel Dalembert was a good thing. He’s not only a good shot-blocker, but he also takes up space underneath the basket. That’ll bode well with the team’s other players. He’s not a bad offensive player, but they’re not going to need much out of him anyway. He’s just got to grab rebounds and play good defense.

Schlosser: Having not watched the Knicks win a championship in quite some time, and then to see things unfold as the team experienced a set-back this past season, it’s safe to say fans are a little anxious. Do you think they need to remain patient? Can they have faith in Phil Jackson, a rookie executive?

Monroe: They can have faith in Phil. If I’m Phil, I’m not looking for this to be a three-, four-, or five-year process. I’d want it to be much sooner than that. He has that in mind. It’s about getting Carmelo Anthony to stay and then building around him. Even though the team had a bad season last year, they weren’t that far off. They need to look at the current players and see how those guys fit into the system that Phil wants to play. I think they’ll be pretty good.

Tim Hardaway Jr. is coming off a good rookie season. Even with Iman Shumpert, all he needs to do is figure out what he should be doing and see what other things he can do to be an asset.

Schlosser: Let’s talk more about Anthony’s forthcoming decision. What do you think he’ll do?

Monroe: At this point, he wants to win. He’ll want to go where he can win championships. If Carmelo believes in what Phil wants to do, that may be a possibility. But if he doesn’t think this is the place for him, then he should leave so that the Knicks can start building with other guys.

Essentially, in Phil’s mind, he’s building for a championship. He wants to bring another one to the city.

Schlosser: The other teams in competition for Carmelo’s services already have superstars in place. The team that you and Phil Jackson were on was a very-well balanced one. That was a essentially a major key to your championship win. Should Carmelo team up with other stars, or should he want to remain with the Knicks and be recognized as “the man?”

Monroe: That’s the whole thing in a nutshell. If he stays in New York, they’re going to build around him. A lot of times, a player doesn’t know what they’ll encounter if they go to another team. In New York, he’ll have guys around him and will be able to play more freely. In the end, that’ll be much more fruitful.

Schlosser: And for Knicks fans wondering what you’re personally up to now, what’s your latest venture?

Monroe: I have the Sports Candy Store.  That started about a year and a half ago. We were able to get a licensing deal with the NBA, so as soon as that happened, I knew I wanted to be in the candy business. We’re doing a great job. We not only have access to every team in the league, but we’re able to put players on the boxes as well. We’ve got lollipops, gummy bears, and other candies for kids as well. We’re starting to develop sugar-free candies for people like myself, who have diabetes, to enjoy too. We’re definitely looking up at things.




33 comments
rgm891
rgm891

Melo just announce your decision. No one cares if you stay or leave. Lets go Knicks.

samb
samb

New post is up

KnicksMaybeThisYear
KnicksMaybeThisYear

If the Knicks sign Melo or not, the Knicks Org is 100% better because they have a system that will be supported from the top down, new and old players will have clear roles, and Phil has gotten rid of some folks with bad moral.


Think of what the Hawks did last year, hired the Spurs lead assistant, dedicated system, got rid of Josh Smith, singed someone that made sense like Milsap and were a few minutes from beating the Pacers.  They don't care about wins, they care more about improving constantly game by game and being consistent.


No gimmicks, no BS, just basketball.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

As far as Melo wearing #15....those who were fans of the team when Melo got here..know that Earl was fine with the fact if melo wanted to wear 15...as was Dick Mcguires family...Melo out of respect declined.


#Exposed

Jayson Love
Jayson Love

I was thinking what if Pearl called Melo and told him he could wear his old number 15 if he re-signs?

Ray Jorge
Ray Jorge

Love these guys..... "THE OLD CHAMPIONSHIP KNICKS"  it also reminds me of our championship drought! It's so tough being a Knick fan. It was starting to look good in 2010 with Amare then we sign Melo.  Then we beat the heat that one game & i started getting delusions of grandeur! Then the NYK INJURY CURSE strikes! Amare Billups(2010) Amare Iman Davis Chandler Lin Felton JR Kmart the rest of the years. The only consistent was Mr. Carmelo Anthony! Poor guy wanted to get out of Denver not because they had a bad team but if your a city kid you always want to come back home! I know he wished he could of brought Ty Lawson with him over here!  If he had a Crystal ball & knew about the NYK INJURY CURSE if he would of still wanted to come here? That's why it pains me when some silly NY Media/fans talk crap about him & don't take into consider the injury issues with his teammates he had to overcome/bad coaching. We won 54 games 2yrs ago because his teammates were hitting wide open shots this past year they were "ABONDINABLE" & injured. When they finally got healthy at the end of the season they almost made the playoffs! Get Pau on this team(if possible) let Fisher implement the Tri Angle & barring major injuries I bet you will be a 5o+ win team!

VerySilentJay
VerySilentJay

@rgm891 Actually, I'd prefer it if he stayed.

You know, given the fact that he's a premiere scorer, better than anyone else out there (except LBJ) and better than any FA in 2015.

If not, get under the apron and attempt a S&T that gets you a decent return.

tkb2pac
tkb2pac

@rgm891 I can see a whole lot of tears being shed if he leaves.

bb_dot
bb_dot

@BiggieTKB The way some of you guys toss around the label "hater" is becoming ridiculous. Being a fan doesn't mean you applaud every move and only see the positive. That's fine if it works for you. But others like to be "critical" when they see reason for it. It's absurd to claim there is little or no reason to be critical with the Knicks for the past decade. There is plenty in fact. 

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

@BiggieTKB  1 Losing season out of the last 4...yet the other 3 are flukes and this past season is who that team really is, LOL...cant make it up.

MeloStat301
MeloStat301

@bb_dot @BiggieTKB  True...but when you don't applaud even the good moves and look for your team to always be in the lottery, for the sake of draft picks and assets, I don't see how that's being a genuine fan.  We were in that boat for 10 years...and nothing...at least we have been in the playoffs 3 out of the last 4..that's something to applaud, not snicker at.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@MeloStat301 @BiggieTKB 

The only players we have left from those 3 winning seasons are STAT, JR, Shump, and Prigioni. It's a very different team. I guess that makes one a "hater" whatever that means.

bb_dot
bb_dot

@MeloStat301 @bb_dot @BiggieTKB agreed. If you don't applaud good moves or enjoy your team winning than clearly you are not a fan. I just think the "hater" label is too loosely used here by many to discredit people who differ in opinion and see the downsides of deals. Also it should be ok to say that we s^cked when we s^cked like last season. It's simply speaking the truth.

rgm891
rgm891

@TKBking @rgm891 Why would Phil try to unload Stats contract along with Shump? There is legit no reason to waste a young asset if Melo is not going to stay here. 

BK_VET
BK_VET

@bb_dot @MeloStat301 @BiggieTKB  there are a lot of cats who only come around when the team loses. They are nowhere to be found when the team win a good game.

Knicks_Fanatic
Knicks_Fanatic

@BiggieTKB 

You can argue whatever you want. I could argue that we had three winning seasons because Donnie Walsh tore apart a $100+ million 23-59 Isiah team and got the cap space and young assets to build those winning teams. Then I could just call anyone a hater that disagreed with it.

Jayson Love
Jayson Love

@Sandro Guedes @Jayson Love You do realize the number is retired twice anyway right?  Also, Melo won a division title last year on a team that hadn't won anything in ages

bb_dot
bb_dot

@BK_VET I have been on this site since 2009. Back in the day people would argue without being outed as "haters" lol. That's just a fact. Now it's like the Bush doctrine. You are either with us or against us. It's just silly. That's all.

bb_dot
bb_dot

@TKBking @rgm891 dude, you make some sense. It would be outright stupid to make mayor moves at this point without knowing if Melo leaves or stays. No GM would ever do that. 

rgm891
rgm891

@TKBking @rgm891 Lmao. Felton was gone already. How were we suppose to package Felton in a deal. We might as well add Chandler to make the package more enticing instead of getting a second rounder. Make some sense dude. This is like news back in March. That felton was gone.

Jayson Love
Jayson Love

@Sandro Guedes @Jayson Love Whatever.  Fact is, if Pearl decided Melo could wear it, it is his decision.  Melo has done a lot for the knicks.  I'm sorry it isn't up to your standards.  Melo has to go through Kobe, Shaq, Duncan etc in the West in the early part of his career, and now he has to deal with possibly the best player in the sport.  Not to mention, he has never been on a decent let alone good team. 

knicksgirl35
knicksgirl35

@bb_dot Unless they've already discussed who Melo wants off of the team which I think they have. 

Jayson Love
Jayson Love

@Sandro Guedes @Jayson Love I didnt say he did as much as Pearl, but dont you think some of pearl's legacy is tied to fellow hall of famers Willis Reid and Walt Frazier?. Melo has done a lot and hopefully, his legacy isn't over. 

Jayson Love
Jayson Love

@TKBking @Sandro Guedes @Jayson Love we have no where near as much talent as those 70s Knick teams.  Melo cant do it on his own.  Im tired of people bashing melo for not winning.  what is he supposed to do?  Last year he was the entire team

Jayson Love
Jayson Love

@TKBking @Jayson Love @Sandro Guedes This.  Melo draws double teams that in and of itself makes people better.  JR Smith owes at least half of his ridiculous contract to melo.  Melo actually is a very willing and able passer the people around him need to make shots.  By bringing in Calderon, and Ellington and having a guy on the team like TH Jr. shows the kind of in and out game Phil Jax is looking for.  Too often last year we missed open looks off pass-outs from the post or high post from Melo. There is a big difference between passing out to Dwayne Wade for an open look or a lane to slash to the basket (which LBJ gets to do) or pasing out to Jr Smith