Exclusive: Raptors’ Monroe happy to be back to winning hoops

Well-traveled center Greg Monroe has signed a 10-day deal with the Celtics.

ATLANTA — Toronto Raptors center Greg Monroe had a fantastic start to his young career, with the 6-foot-11 big man averaging at least 15 points and eight rebounds per game from 2011-16 during his time with the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks.

His play was impressive enough to land the Georgetown product a $50 million contract with the Bucks in 2015. However, he has moved around quite a bit since then, playing for three different teams last year –the Bucks, Phoenix Suns, and Boston Celtics.

The nine-year veteran is now on his fourth team in just a year, but he is happy to be a part of an impressive Toronto Raptors team that ranks first in the Eastern Conference heading into Friday night.

“It feels good; it’s always good to you know, play good basketball, winning basketball,” Monroe told Amico Hoops after the Raptors defeated the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday. “Even on bad teams, guys are still competing. It’s just it always feels better to win.”

Monroe played on some below-average Pistons and Bucks teams, but last season he played for a dreadful Suns team. However, he doesn’t think that the losing alters the pregame mindset.

“You just have to have the same focus no matter what,” Monroe said. “Teams that might not have the same record don’t come into games thinking they’re going to lose.”

This season Monroe is only playing about 8 per game, but being part of one of the best teams in basketball is never a bad thing.

“Just unselfishness, a lot of talent,” Monroe said when asked about the part he enjoys most about the Raptors.  “Everybody’s sacrificing for the greater good.”

The 15-4 Raptors will look to build on their Eastern Conference leading record Friday at home against the struggling Washington Wizards.