Draft recruits boos, bows and blues Delay game is not to his liking, but Hawks are Rodney Monroe


Roseanne Barr's singing the national anthem. Anyone's from the IRS mumbling about an audit. Rod Thorn's calling your name on draft night.

All are voices you don't want to hear.

Rodney Monroe was not supposed to hear any of them last night.

Barr was thousands of miles away from the Hagerstown native's home. He was too young for the Internal Revenue Service to come knocking. And his TV was supposed to be turned off long before NBA commissioner David Stern, master of ceremonies for the first round of the draft held last night at Madison Square Garden, gave way to Thorn for the announcement of the second-round picks.

But it was Thorn who made the announcement that Monroe was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the third pick in the second round, the 30th pick overall.

"I'm definitely disappointed I didn't go in the first round," said Monroe, who broke North Carolina State's scoring record with 2,551 points during his four years there. "But I am very happy to be with the Hawks. They told me that they wanted to get me earlier, but instead they waited and got me later."

The Hawks used the No.9 overall pick to get All-America Stacey Augmon, the 6-8 forward from UNLV. They made Anthony Avent, Anthony Avent, a 6-10, 335-pound power forward from Seton Hall, the No. 15 choice.

At 6 feet 3 and 185 pounds, Monroe was projected as a middle- to late first-round pick. When the first 18 teams in the draft passed on Monroe, some of the Washington Bullets fans assembled at the Capital Centre to watch the draft let it be known that Rodney was their pick, with chants of Rod-ney reverberating around the room.

But it was not to be. Bullets general manager John Nash let it be known later that Monroe was the team's second, not first, choice. That honor belonged to LaBradford Smith, who, for one, sympathized with Monroe.

"It seems like that's the way it goes," Smith said. "One week you're a lottery pick, then they tell you you're anywhere from 10 to 15, then you're late first-round or early second-round. You never can tell."

Money also distinguishes first-round picks from second-round choices. Second-round picks generally make a lot less of it. It is safe to say that Monroe's drop to second-round status cost the former Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year at least $200,000.

But being a second-round pick does not necessarily mean Monroe is not destined for success. Look at Jerome Kersey, Kevin Duckworth and Dennis Rodman -- NBA stars all -- and all second-round draft picks.

The man who should provide the most hope for Monroe, however, is Miami point guard Sherman Douglas. The NCAA assists recordholder at Syracuse, Douglas was the first pick in the second round in 1989, and is currently flourishing in the Heat lineup.

According to Monroe, his brief discussion with the Hawks last night included no specific details of what the team expects from the guard who is known for his dead-eye shooting but whose defensive skills are suspect.

With Glenn "Doc" Rivers traded yesterday, Atlanta's current guard repertoire includes Spud Webb, Rumeal Robinson and, until further notice, unrestricted free agent John Battle. That should give Monroe a legitimate shot at making the club.

"I'm just happy the Hawks took me," Monroe reiterated. "They were one of the teams interested in me from the beginning, and, so, you like the teams that are interested in you."

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