Malik Monk is quickly becoming a fan favorite of the Los Angeles Lakers’ faithful thanks to his hustle, offensive skillset, and determination.
The 23-year-old guard signed a minimum contract with L.A. in the offseason but has provided the team with way more value than the size of his deal would indicate. Since entering the starting lineup, Monk has provided the Lakers with a spark, scoring at least 15 points in all six games and 20 or more in four of them.
Monk has also come across as a particularly likable and personable character. His reactions on the court are typically genuine, filled with passion for the game and dedication to the team. In his pre- and postgame interviews, he impresses with honesty and sincerity.
He’s also proven to be a man of faith and habits. Among them, he only covers one of his arms with tattoos – a rule inspired by former Laker Nick Young.
“Strictly for buckets. 1000%…” he said of his right arm. “I never talked to [Young] about it, I was in high school just started to get tatted and I heard him say that and then I was like ‘awe yeah, it’s my turn now.’”
Monk added that’s the only quick he has modeled after Young.
To no surprise, Young himself approves of Monk’s philosophy and had a hilarious response of his own, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
Nick Young, in a text to ESPN, on Malik Monk adopting his “strictly buckets” policy banning tattoos on his shooting arm: “I’m Mr. Miyagi and he’s LaRusso. The power of the no tat on the right arm is like wax on, wax off for buckets”
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 5, 2022
Young was known as a fan favorite due to his scoring ability during his time with the Lakers, so it seems that Monk is taking after him in more ways than one.
Monk ‘loves’ starting games for Lakers
Monk has started seven games for the Lakers this season, having previously racked up only one start during his four-year stint with the Charlotte Hornets. The guard said he enjoyed his new role, embracing the extra pressure that comes with it.
“It’s a bigger step than coming off the bench because you’ve got to start the game off right,” Monk said. “But it wasn’t me preferring to come off the bench, it was just what the coaches wanted and they saw me being a spark off the bench. But I love starting. To start the game off right and just bring a boost for the guys coming off the bench because I know they need the confidence from the guys that start to go out there and play comfortable.
“So I love it. I love it”
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!