6. Earl Monroe
Earl Monroe, endearing known as Earl “The Pearl,” is a street ball legend. His flashy style of play won the hearts of fans across the country, providing young players with a crafty finisher to aspire to be.
Whether or not he’s recognized as such, Monroe is one of the most influential players in NBA history.
Monroe had his best seasons with the Baltimore Bullets, but he starred for the New York Knicks in the 1970s. He was a critical member of the 1973 championship team, sacrificing individual accolades for the glory of the team.
With he and Walt Frazier forming the Rolls Royce Backcourt, New York marched to its second and most recent title.
Monroe’s knees cut his career short, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a basketball legend. The Knicks retired his No. 15 jersey, and the Bullets did the same with his No. 10.
When you see the smooth and athletic scorers of today, know that they’ve been heavily influenced by Mr. Monroe.
Next: The Underrated Legend