You might not have known, but the Charlotte Hornets and Milwaukee Bucks faced off in Paris, France earlier on Friday as part of the NBA’s effort to expand its reach on a globalized scale.
While most of us were finishing up the remainder of the week, Malik Monk was busting out for a 30-piece while making some of the world’s biggest soccer stars stare in awe.
The former Wildcat recorded a career-high 31 points in the Hornets 116-103 loss to the Bucks. Monk shot 10-17 from the floor, including a 3-7 mark from beyond the arc and 8-9 from the free-throw line while adding five rebounds, five assists, one steal, and this block to his stat line.
Malik Monk hangs for the strong denial… and @neymarjr is impressed!
— NBA (@NBA) January 24, 2020
At one point, Monk had poured in 11 straight points for Charlotte down the stretch, but Charlotte coughed up a lead in the fourth quarter as they lost their eighth consecutive game. The Hornets even led for the entirety of the first three quarters; they led for the first 75 percent of the game and still lost.
The first-ever NBA game to ever be played in Paris featured a few former Wildcats, as well; P.J. Washington Jr., Michael Kidd-Kidd-Gilchrist, and Monk were facing Eric Bledsoe and the Bucks. Hornets head coach James Borrego gave France native Nicolas Batum the start as he revisited his home country.
This now marks back-to-back games where Monk has been ultra-impressive. He previously scored 20 points on 8-13 shooting four days ago against the Magic then followed it up with this performance on Friday. Before these last two games, Monk was hardly making his way off the bench. He never made it into the game before they faced Orlando and played 27 combined minutes in the three games prior to that. His 33 minutes on Friday were a new season-high.
I have no idea what was said/communicated in between the benching and the previous two games, but Monk has clearly responded. His name recently popped up in some trade rumors on Thursday. The trade deadline is just under two weeks away. Monk’s play over the next few games could potentially have ramifications as to whether or not the Hornets decide to deal him or keep him. If he can continue to do that on an immediate nightly basis, some franchise will try to take a swing on him. Monk isn’t even 22 yet.
And of course Monk would pop off for his career-best scoring night in a different country during the middle of the workday on a Friday. But we’re going to make sure he receives the recognition he deserves.