Veteran center Greg Monroe made history as the 541st NBA record player used in the league this season when he left the bench for the Minnesota Timberwolves in their 108-103 home win over the Celtics in Boston Monday night.
Signed on a 10-day contract earlier today, Monroe had 11 points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes for the Wolves, who ended a two-game losing streak. His big night on Monday marked his return to an NBA roster for the first time since 2019.
The Pistons’ No.1 pick in the 2010 draft played for six NBA teams over the next 10 seasons. After stints in Germany and Russia, he signed with Capital City Go-Go from the G League, where he played 12 games before the Timberwolves called him.
His Monday odyssey characterized the life of a basketball companion.
“I woke up around 4 am. The first flight was canceled,” Monroe said. the gym around 4. ”
After meeting Timberwolves coach Chris Finch and shaking hands with his new teammates, Monroe was unsure of his role against the Celtics but the 31-year-old has said he’s up for anything.
“(Finch) did a good job – although I didn’t have time with him he put me in positions I was comfortable with,” said Monroe. “I was just doing things that I’ve done all season with the Go-Go, so that made it easier for me. ”
He was comfortable enough that, as Wolves finished the game, they began to launch their attack by Monroe at the top post.
“He’s so experienced. He gives us a different look, a legitimate size and beef,” Finch said. “His bounce was great. Again, you can just throw it at him and things calm down.”
The whole experience left Monroe little time to understand what he went through.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” Monroe said. “I was so focused on being ready when my number was called, I didn’t have a chance to digest it honestly, but in this league you don’t have much time to digest whatever. We have another game tomorrow and the Knicks are playing well. Right now that’s what I’m focusing on. ”
Well, that and learn the names of his teammates.
“I’m not going to lie: Jaylen Nowell played really well tonight. I had no idea who he was,” admitted Monroe. “I think he played really well, but it was the first time I saw him. The game is the same, people change. Tonight he is a youngster taking an opportunity.”
ESPN Stats & Information and The Associated Press contributed to this report.