Mason Plumlee will be busy on All-Star Weekend. After being named as one of four contestants in the Sprite Slam Dunk competition on Tuesday, the NBA named him to the Team USA roster in the Rising Stars game. Bojan Bogdanovic will join him, representing the World in the new format.
The game, set for Friday, Feb. 13 at Barclays Center, will be televised live by TNT at 9 p.m. ET.
Team USA is heavy on perimeter and wing players, including Utah’s Trey Burke, Detroit’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Philadelphia’s Michael Carter-Williams, Minnesota’s Zach LaVine and Shabazz Muhammad, and Orlando’s starting backcourt of Elfrid Payton and Victor Oladipo.
The World Team will be heavy on big men, including Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams, Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo, Minnesota’s Gorgui Dieng, Utah’s Rudy Gobert, Chicago’s Nikola Mirotic and Boston’s Kelly Olynyk. Canada will be the most represented international country with Olynyk and Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins.
Minnesota has four players in the Rising Stars Challenge, Utah three, and Brooklyn and Philadelphia, two each.
The league’s annual showcase of premier young talent will debut a format that pits 10 first- and second-year NBA players from the United States against 10 first- and second-year NBA players from around the world.
Plumlee, 24, will be making his second consecutive appearance in the game after participating as a rookie last season. After averaging 7.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 18.2 minutes per game in 70 games (22 starts) as a rookie, Plumlee has increased his averages to 10.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 22.7 minutes per game in 44 games (27 starts) this season. Plumlee is third in the NBA in field goal percentage (59.4 percent) and is second among all first and second year players in double-doubles with 10. He’s also fourth among all sophomores in rebounds per game and fifth in blocks per game despite playing just the 17th-most minutes per game among second-year players. As a starter this season, Plumlee has averaged 13.9 points on 66.5 percent shooting with 8.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 28.8 minutes per game. He was originally selected with the 22nd pick in the 2013 NBA Draft out of Duke.
Plumlee will be just the third Nets’ player to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge as both a rookie and sophomore, joining Brook Lopez (2009 and 2010) and Kenyon Martin (2001 and 2002).
Bogdanovic, 25, is averaging 7.4 points and 2.5 rebounds in 22.6 minutes per game in 43 games (27 starts) in his rookie season. Bogdanovic is averaging the most minutes per game among all rookies whose teams made the playoffs last season. He was originally selected with the 31st pick (second round) in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat before his rights were traded by Miami to Minnesota and then by the Timberwolves to the Nets. He spent three more seasons abroad (2011-14) before starting his NBA career this season.
Plumlee and Bogdanovic are the first Nets’ teammates to be selected to play in the Rising Stars Challenge in the same season since Martin and Stephen Jackson were both selected as rookies in 2001.
Mason Plumlee and Bojan Bogdanovic Selected to Play in BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge - Brooklyn Nets