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, Piston.com'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.
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.
"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."