In a video produced by American Express for the All Star Game, Mason Plumlee talks about his early disappointments coming out of college and his first days with the Nets. In it, he admits, he thought he would go higher in the draft and then after joining the Nets, at one point he was so upset with a lack of playing time, "I broke down." He says a Nets teammate he's previously identified as Kevin Garnett brought him out of it with a simple question.
Plumlee talks as well as his family and his father, but the bulk of his comments are about the transition from college though the draft to the NBA.
"I started very low on the totem pole. Everybody (who) I thought I had a chance of being drafted by passed on me. I had no clue where I was going. Fortunately, I was drafted by Brooklyn.
"In college, you have everybody willing to lend a hand. But in the pros, you have look out for yourself. Early in my rookie year, one game, I was the last guy on the bench and I played three minutes! I just broke down. I was so consumed with establishing myself that the first step back ate at me. My brother was having big games. I saw him excelling and doing well. And I'm like, I want to make this happen for me in Brooklyn.
"I actually had a teammate talk to me who told me, 'This is your story. What do you want it to be? You want to me Mason Plumlee that went to Duke and played in a family of basketball players or do you want to transcend, be something bigger?' And nobody had ever presented a question to me like that. It really made me think a lot. Each time I'm on the court, each time I'm working on my craft, i think, 'Who do I want Mason Plumlee to be?' "
In an interview with Mike Mazzeo of ESPN last month, Plumlee said KG was the teammate.
"I don't know too many young players who talk to them like that," Plumlee told Mazzeo. "But it's eye-opening. It's empowering. And that was just one of our conversations. We've talked a lot -- whether it be on the bus or the plane. He can make you re-open your dreams and be what you wanna be."
Plumlee, who's since won a gold medal in the FIBA World Championships, notes that he's always started on the bench, adding, "My journey is a process. I feel like this is my time."