Nets rookie Mason Plumlee sat down with the blog Starting5 after the Nets 96-91 loss to the Indiana Pacers last Saturday. Despite the loss, Plumlee was “very pleasant” after playing 15 minutes, grabbing three boards and scoring a career-high six points on 3/5 shooting.
After insinuating that the 22nd pick in the 2013 NBA Draft had Kevin Garnett-like energy, Starting5 asked Plumlee why he thinks the coaching staff is giving him “crucial” minutes this early in his career. Plumlee responded that he has to stay ready at all times, even in games that he doesn’t play like last Friday’s overtime loss to the Washington Wizards. Whether he gets “2 minutes” or “10 minutes” he has to “prove something” each time out.
Asked if he feels pressure coming in for guys like KG and Brook Lopez, the Duke product said he does not, since he knows he is not KG or Brook. “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.”
When the topic of rookie hazing came up, Plumlee said he could not talk about it. Thankfully it sounds like the hazing is more akin to Marshon Brooks having his car filled with popcorn than Miami Dolphins-style initiation as Plumlee laughed when asked if it was “classified.” He did admit to doing push-ups when teammates hit threes (“Yeah, you can write that one!”), a practice Deron Williams started in the preseason opener after Mirza Teletovic threes.
But that was the pre-season. In the regular season, the push-ups fall on the rook. Asked if the burden of upper body exertion to celebrate trays would be his for the rest of the season, Plumlee replied “We’ll see. We might mix it up. My arms might get tired and I’ll start doing sit-ups.” If the Nets want to get their rookie big man in top physical condition, they might want to spend some more time behind the arc in practice: the Nets’ 6.5 three point field goals per game puts them in the bottom third of the league.
Read More: Nick Metallinos, Starting 5 – – Starting5 Speak with Nets’ Rookie Mason Plumlee