Most NBA fans might think their favorite players are consumed with basketball especially during the regular season. They live, breathe and sleep basketball, that’s about it. They virtually have a basketball glued to their hands or else their minds are constantly focused on the basketball court.
Not true, insists Detroit Pistons third-year center Greg Monroe who says those days are long gone. NBA players, despite their millions of dollars, try to be like ordinary people doing very simple minded things.
For instance: “I go watch all the latest movies when they come out. I love music,” Monroe said. “I do regular stuff. I bowl, I’m not a professional bowler. I can get the ball down the lane…spending time with my family. I’m just a regular person.”
Monroe laughs while admitting he’s not about to leave the NBA for the PBA anytime too soon. His bowling hasn’t exactly turned the Detroit area on fire. But he remains arguably the franchise’s most important player right now.
“It’s important to make sure you have a few things going on outside of basketball,” he said. “You don’t want to be consumed nowadays. Guys are finding things to do off the course as well as off the court.”
Monroe, however, is still in the learning stages where he can’t rest on his laurels if he’s to fulfill the lofty predictions most NBA observers have of him.
Monroe, over two seasons, averaged 12.2 points and 8.5 rebounds. He picked up his 1,000-career rebound March 10 against Atlanta. Monroe has also become a reliable shooter. He hit 51.3 percent of his shots from the floor last year and is at 53.2 percent for his career. If he can increase those numbers, Monroe could establish himself as one of the league’s top big men.
“With the research our coaches do, we’re more prepared. You have to out and execute and make the right plays,” he said. “I think I’ve gotten better but I have a long way to go. I’ve gotten better in a lot of places. I’ve made strides. I continue to work.”
“Greg was really able to finish in the paint and a lot of that was a result of ball movement,” said Pistons coach Lawrence Frank.