On Draft Night 2013, the Nets made two moves within a few minutes of one another. As it turned out, the big one -- trading for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, didn't turn out so well and in fact could have a long-term, negative impact on the franchise. The other, which came a just bit later, was smaller, almost a footnote -- the Nets drafted Mason Plumlee out of Duke with the No. 22 pick. That one worked.
And as Lenn Robbins points out, the first move has helped make the second one work. He looks at the relationship between KG, 38 and in his 20th year, and Plumlee, 24 and in his second year, through the prism of an off-day on the road ... or what was supposed to be an off-day ... in Cleveland last Thursday.
"He [Garnett] said, 'I need to get in the gym tomorrow,'" Plumlee recounted to Robbins. Plumlee got a friend who lives in Cleveland to make the arrangements and the two --just the two of them-- worked out for an hour, half of it on the court, half in a weight room.
It's typical of the two men's relationship. As Robbins writes, Garnett has been the generous tutor. Plumlee has been the eager student.
"He’s always trying to instill his habits to me," Plumlee said. "That’s something I want to take away from him.
"To be at his age and to recognize you still have to put the time in, it just shows you have to really love it. And I do love it, but I’m understanding what kind of work you have to put in."
"When I see Mase thinking about the team, being involved in the cause of the team, the cause of improving his craft, that’s when I see progress," added Garnett. "That’s when I feel better about myself."
A Day Off in Cleveland is a Day for Garnett and Plumlee to Work on Their Craft - Lenn Robbins - Brooklyn Nets