Kings Central

Kings' Monk reveals basketball inspirations, brother's impact

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Malik Monk's electric style of play inspires young basketball fans, but who did the Kings' Sixth Man idolize while he was growing up?

During an interview with NBC Sports California's Morgan Ragan on "Kings Central," Monk revealed who inspired his love for basketball.

"A few people, my brother, for one. I still look up to him today," Monk told Ragan. "Then Monta Ellis, I like Monta Ellis a lot. Baron Davis. He's just like a shifty guard that has bounce. [Russell] Westbrook for sure.

"But when I was six, seven, eight, it was Monta Ellis for sure. How exciting he is. I think I do some of the same things. he can dribble, shoot, [he's] fearless."

Having just turned 26 years old in February, Monk detailed how watching basketball videos on YouTube and Instagram helped shape his passion for the game.

"My era was YouTube and Instagram. Instagram first came out when I was in seventh grade, so I was big on the highlights for sure," Monk explained.

When asked if he ever posted his own highlights, Monk revealed that his older brother typically would be the one to do so, while revealing his sibling's dedication to ensure he stayed on the right path growing up.

"My brother did, I didn't," Monk shared. "He's 12 years older than me. He actually quit playing basketball in Germany to come back and make sure I had my head on straight."

"I really didn't want to hear it at first because I didn't know what he was doing, because it's my brother, of course. But each year, something he told me back then happens now, still. That's why I look up to him so much."

Monk and his brother's hard work paid off, with Malik being drafted No. 11 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft after starring at the University of Kentucky.

The 26-year-old is a leading candidate for the 2023-24 NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award, averaging 15.4 points in 25.9 minutes per game off the bench for Sacramento this season.

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