The Minnesota Timberwolves signed veteran big man Greg Monroe, who became the NBA-record 541st player used in the league this season when he checked in off the bench during the Wolves victory over the Boston Celtics on Monday night.
Monroe, 31, inked a 10-day contract with the Wolves on Monday, and came into the game later that night, chipping in 11 points and 9 rebounds in 25 minutes of action for Minnesota, who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Monroe has played for six different NBA teams over the course of his career, and is a former #1 overall pick of the Detroit Pistons, who drafted him back in 2010. Monroe has also played in Germany and Russie, and played 12 games in the G League for the Capital City Go-Go prior to his signing with the Wolves.
“I woke up at about 4 a.m. First flight was canceled,” Monroe said (h/t ESPN). “I left D.C. about 7 a.m. roughly, had to connect in Chicago, got here around 11, had COVID testing, got a chance to rest, came to the gym around 4.”
“[Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch] did a good job — even though I didn’t have any time with him, he put me in positions where I was comfortable,” Monroe said. “I was just doing things I’ve been doing all season with the Go-Go, so that kind of made it easy for me.”
“He’s so experienced. He gives us a different look, some legit size and beef,” Finch said. “His rebounding was great. Again, you can just throw it to him and things kind of calm down.”
“It has been a whirlwind,” Monroe said. “I was just so focused on being ready when my number was called, I haven’t gotten a chance to digest it honestly, but in this league, you don’t have much time to digest anything. We’ve got another game tomorrow, and the Knicks are playing well. Right now, that’s what I’m focusing on.”
“I’m not gonna lie: Jaylen Nowell played awesome tonight. I didn’t know who he was,” Monroe admitted. “I think he played awesome, but that was my first time seeing him. The game is the same, the people change. Tonight, it’s a young guy taking advantage of an opportunity.”