For a rookie coming into a veteran-laden team with championship aspirations things could go one of two ways: Simply put, you’ll either sink or swim. For Brooklyn Nets’ rookie Mason Plumlee, thankfully, it’s been the latter so far. How can he not succeed when he has future Hall-of-Famer Kevin Garnett, and one-time All-Star Brook Lopez to learn from?
Plumlee is not defined by his numbers this season however. The Nets love the energy that he brings each night. Does that remind you of anyone? Hint: He’s a current teammate of Plumlee’s that arrived from Boston this summer previously in Minnesota.
Starting5 caught up with Plumlee at Barclays Center last Saturday night to get his thoughts on his rookie season. Although his team lost, 96-91, Plumlee (6 points on 3/5 shooting, 3 rebounds) was very pleasant post-game.
Starting5: First of all, how’s the rookie season? How are you finding everything?
Mason Plumlee: It’s coming along. You know, I’m just really fighting to prove myself to get on the floor but, it’s coming [along] for me.
S5: You’ve been playing some crucial minutes for the Nets. Why do you think the coaching staff has that confidence in you to give you that court time?
MP: Um, I just have to show little-by-little, like, last game I didn’t play but I got to stay ready. I might get 2-minutes, I might get 10-minutes, I don’t know [but] I have to be ready either way. To me, whatever I do with those minutes can either give them [Nets coaching staff] confidence in me, or if I don’t play well they won’t feel comfortable putting me back in. Each time I’m out there I have to prove something.
S5: Do you feel any type of pressure coming in for guys like Kevin Garnett or Brook Lopez? Like, having to maintain that energy that they bring?
MP: I don’t feel pressure, you know. I’m not KG so I just go out there and play my game. I’m not Brook Lopez either, we’re all different so I’m not going out there to be out-of-character, I’m just going there to play hard and give what I can do.
S5: You’re the rookie on a veteran-laden team. What kind of rookie hazing have the guys got you doing?
MP: I can’t say what I’m doing—
S5: It’s all classified?
MP: Yeah, yeah. [Laughs]
S5: I noticed you were doing push-ups when the team scored a three-pointer tonight—
MP: Yeah, you can write that one!
S5: So, that’s a part of the hazing? Is that a team thing? I’ve noticed Deron Williams does it as well.
MP: It’s a team thing, but once the season got going it just falls on me.
S5: It’s all on you for the rest of the season?
MP: We’ll see. We might mix it up. My arms might get tired and I’ll start doing sit-ups.
Image courtesy of: Gemini Keez/Keez On Sports