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A year ago today, Greg Monroe dominated in the desert

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Greg Monroe's first five games wearing a Pistons uniform didn't occur in Auburn Hill or any other NBA locale, but rather a tiny gymnasium in the desert. And exactly one year ago today, Monroe dominated, recovering from a sluggish start to summer league by exploding for 27 points and 14 rebounds in Detroit's fifth and final game.

Reporting from Las Vegas for FanHouse, I was among a small handful of reporters to speak with Monroe after that finale, joining ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz,'s Eli Zaret, and ... some cub reporter from New York whose name I never learned. After digging up that old Will Bynum interview, I also discovered a recording of Monroe's post-game talk -- and since we have nothing else to do, let's relive history, shall we?

Excuse the first 20 seconds or so of chatter -- if my memory serves correct, that's Mike Abdenour telling Monroe that he's packing up some of Monroe's gear. And try to ignore the background music -- there aren't actual locker rooms for most of the games played in Vegas, just a curtain hiding a bunch of folding chairs at the end of the bleachers, so there's really no escaping the ear-piercingly loud hip-hop played between games to keep the crowds entertained.

(Interview with Greg Monroe - 7/16/2010 by mattwatson)

Here's the article I ended up producing from this interview. It's OK, I suppose, but I remember reading Kevin Arnovitz's article the next day and feeling sheepish. He's smarter than me, and it shows. (There's no shame admitting that -- he's smarter than almost everyone else writing about hoops, too.) This, my friends, is how the sausage is made.

Want to continue this trip down memory lane? Here's the DBB game thread from that game. My favorite comment, courtesy of bearded thunder:

"I’m really liking Monroe right now. I knew it would take him some time to get his feet wet, but I didn’t expect Cousins-esque production from him."