Earl Monroe could orchestrate a dazzling show on the basketball court. His twisting, spinning, faking, double-pump, and dribbling exploits made him a cult hero and earned him the nickname “The Pearl.” Under Hall of Fame coach Clarence Gaines, Monroe became a collegiate star of considerable stature at Winston-Salem State winning a national championship in 1967. He averaged 41.5 ppg his senior season. Monroe would then dazzle professionally with the Bullets. He and Hall of Fame center Wes Unseld created a devastating fast break not seen before in the NBA. In 1971, Monroe joined the New York Knicks where he and Walt Frazier formed an All-Star celebrity backcourt that ultimately landed the Knicks the 1973 NBA Championship.
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