After Earl “The Pearl’’ Monroe rang the honorary bell to close the NASDAQ market yesterday, the Knicks legend said Carmelo Anthony’s stock is rising to new heights. Monroe, one of the members of the Knicks’ 1972-73 NBA title team that will be honored tonight at halftime, changed his game to fit into the championship puzzle and he sees Anthony changing, too, and becoming a leader. Anthony is coming off 50-point and 40-point performances in Miami and Atlanta, respectively, during which he sank 35 of 53 shots (66 percent), mostly on jumpers. Tonight against the Bucks, he can become the first Knick since Bernard King in 1984 to have three straight 40-plus games. “The leadership factor with Carmelo is showing,’’ Monroe told The Post. “He had 36 far up in the game, and took five shots the rest of the way and let other guys do their thing. He let other guys know he’s as much for them as they are for him. It’s an important factor for the cohesiveness of a team.’’ ➤ Kenyon Martin (knee soreness) is listed as questionable for tonight, which would be a blow since starting center Tyson Chandler is not close to 100 percent, playing despite his neck woes and admitting he’s not mobile enough to grab rebounds and convert alley-oops. ➤ Bill Bradley on the difference between the 1972-73 Knicks team and the 1969-70 team: “lt was different. We had Earl Monroe and Jerry Lucas. Phil Jackson was playing then and not hurt. It was more enjoyable because Lucas was a great teammate. We communicated in our own language. He was a great passing center, and Earl was Earl.” ➤ All of the surviving members of the ’72-73 title team will be on hand tonight. The only deceased player is forward Dave DeBusschere.
Pearl a Melo fan
New York Post | Apr 5