Charlotte Hornets

Four things we learned from a short interview with the Charlotte Hornets’ Malik Monk

Hornets draft pick Malik Monk chats with fans the day after the draft in Charlotte. Monk is recovering from an ankle injury and likely will miss all the team’s NBA summer league games this week in Orlando.
Hornets draft pick Malik Monk chats with fans the day after the draft in Charlotte. Monk is recovering from an ankle injury and likely will miss all the team’s NBA summer league games this week in Orlando. AP

So, apparently Lavar Ball isn’t the only guy that thinks he can beat Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one.

Monk, the Charlotte Hornets’ top draft choice last month, missed Saturday’s opening game in the 2017 Orlando Pro Summer League with an ankle injury and is expected to miss the rest as well.

Monk is with the team this week in Orlando, where he’ll try to pick up as he much while recovering.

Before the game – a 74-67 win over the Miami Heat – the former Kentucky star packed a lot into a short interview with Grant Hill and Matt Winer of NBA TV.

Monk talked about his injury, how he fulfilled a lifelong dream for his grandfather on draft day, his role with the Hornets and how he thinks he’d fare against Hornets owner Michael Jordan.

1. Monk is trying to use his time wisely this week in Orlando.

Monk explained that the injury happened in a pre-draft workout, about “three months before I started workout out with teams. ... I stepped on somebody’s foot and twisted it pretty bad.”

Monk doesn’t plan to be idle this week despite the injury.

“I’m lifting every day and getting treated on my ankle,” he said. “It’ll be good for me.”

2. Family is important to him.

Monk, the 11th overall pick in the June 22 NBA draft, brought several family members to New York for the life-changing event.

“Most of my family had never ... been to New York,” Monk said. “I was able to bring them to New York to see all the places they’d never seen.”

Monk’s grandfather, a longtime New York Yankees fan, got to see the Bronx Bombers for the first time in person.

“When he was little, that was the only team that was on TV,” Monk said. “So I took him to his first game. Everything was great.

“And I just wanted to see my mom happy. And that’s what happened when I walked across the stage.”

3. He expects to play a bit at point guard.

Drafted as a shooting guard, Monk said he expects to also see some action at point guard with the Hornets.

“We’ve been talking about me playing both (guard spots), and I’ve just got to get comfortable with both.”

4. He’s confident.

Finally, Monk said he’s confident he could take Jordan – presumably when that ankle heals – in a game of one-on-one.

Where have we heard that before? OK, this was not a Lavar Ball moment. Monk, 19, acknowledged that the age difference would give him a huge advantage over Jordan, 54.

“He’s pretty old right now. I think I can get him,” Monk said with a smile.

SATURDAY HIGHLIGHTS

The Hornets posted two short highlight videos from Saturday’s game in Orlando.

The first is a nice shot from forward Treveon Graham, who scored 16 points against the Heat on 6-of-14 shooting. The former Virginia Commonwealth star added a game-high 13 rebounds (six offensive), a team-high four assists and three steals.

The Hornets’ second pick in the draft, former Florida State shooting guard Dwayne Bacon, slammed home this uncontested dunk. Monk, according to Observer writer Rick Bonnell, looked promising in his Hornets debut, collecting nine points, three rebounds and a behind-the-back bounce pass to Anthony Gill for an assist in 27 minutes at shooting guard.

Follow Mike Reader on Twitter.

  Comments