Earl Monroe on what it takes to be great in the NBA

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In this Nov. 7, 2011, file photo, Earl Monroe is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
In this Nov. 7, 2011, file photo, Earl Monroe is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Earl Monroe is in the Hall of Fame and has an NBA ring. He’s also a big supporter of player rights, and he tells PodcastOne Sports Now that free agency movement among teams is helping create even more interest in the league.

A star in Baltimore and New York in a career that spanned 14 seasons before he retired in 1980, Monroe has seen the NBA evolve into a star-driven league and thinks it is for the better. He told co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg that he doesn’t begrudge today’s huge salaries, but believes players today need to work harder to relate to fans like the players did in his time in the league.

They could also use more nicknames, he said, and recalled how he became known as Earl “The Pearl” Monroe among other monikers in his career.

Monroe also talked about his playing days in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the nation’s first African American college athletic conference, and his plans for the 75th anniversary championship week celebration next February in Charlotte, NC.

The hosts also discuss Bill Walton’s baseball commentary, and debate what purpose egg salad actually serves.