Washington Wizards: 15 greatest scorers of all-time

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images /
14 of 16
Earl Monroe, Washington Bullets
Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images /

While he wasn’t necessarily the best player on those late 60s/early 70s Bullets teams, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe was certainly the flashiest. I mean, you don’t get nicknames like “Black Jesus”, “Black Magic”, “Einstein”, “The Lord’s Prayer” and “Thomas Edison” for making crisp chest passes and making perfect bank shots.

Monroe was an absolute magician with the ball in his hands, as he often found new and innovative ways to put the ball through the hoop. Hear it from the man himself (h/t: NBA.com): “The thing is, I don’t know what I’m going to do with the ball,” Monroe once admitted, “and if I don’t know, I’m quite sure the guy guarding me doesn’t know either.”

Selected second overall by the then-Baltimore Bullets in the 1967 draft, Monroe spent parts of five seasons with the franchise, dazzling crowds with his array of offensive moves.

Armed with crafty handles and a smooth jumper, Monroe averaged 23.7 points per game on 44.5 percent shooting during his time in Baltimore, serving as the catalyst for several top-10 Bullets offenses in that span.

Eventually, Monroe wanted out of Baltimore. He wasn’t sent to his preferred destinations — he wanted to go to either the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers or the Philadelphia 76ers — but he found a new home with the New York Knicks as part of the “Rolls Royce Backcourt” with two-way star Walt “Clyde” Frazier.

Even though he became a more efficient scorer and earned a greater deal of team success once he left the Bullets, Monroe’s innovation while in Baltimore is what put him on the map.