After becoming a state champion in his native Indiana during his high school career, and spending four years at Duke under coach Mike Krzyzewski, seven footer Mason Plumlee found it simple to blend in with a Brooklyn Nets team last year with very real aspirations beyond the first round of the playoffs. In our conversation with Plumlee last week, we touched on his unending drive to get better, the self-sacrifice necessary to win, the fun of blowing up zombies and much more.
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Dime: Have you been a fan of the game for awhile? Talk to us about how you got into playing Call of Duty.
Mason Plumlee: In college it was so big because our whole team played it. And then my brothers — I mean, I’m not as good as my brothers — but it was the most fun game. Especially, the zombies. We’d all just get together, and we’d play that for — man — who knows how long. You just get into and go level by level and obviously, it never ends. We’d always try and better the time we did before and it was just a fun game where we could all get together and play.
Dime: So your brothers, you’ve got your younger brother Marshall and your older brother Miles. How much better are they?
MP: They’re significantly [better]. I’ll be honest, they pull weight when they play. That’s why I like being on their team. When they want to play against each other, I wouldn’t really do that because it’s unfair. But I’m a good role player in Call of Duty.
Dime: Some would say the same about you on the court, too.
MP: You gotta know your role. I take what I do on the court more seriously, though. I’m just doing what I got to do now, tryin’ to add to it [laughs]. Call of Duty is just I kind of was what it was.
Dime: The new Call of Duty: Advanced Warefare is out, do you bring it on the road with you in the season, or is it strictly an offseason thing?
MP: Well, I’ll keep it at home. And I’ll play it at home. To me, video games I like to play with my friends. I’ll never just play on my own. If I get some people over, or log in online, then I’ll definitely play, but I don’t travel with it.
Dime: When you play online, do people know it’s Mason Plumlee, center for the Nets?
MP: No, I only have my brothers and my friends.
Dime: So you’re not going online and taking on strangers?
MP: Nah, nah. I can’t deal with people talking s**t to me that I don’t even know.
Dime: At least in the NBA you’re facing a guy.
Dime: So lets get on to hoops. You mentioned the trash talking, and you play with someone, Kevin Garnett, who a lot of people call one of the best junk talkers of all time. What’s it like playing beside a future Hall of Famer? What are some of the things he’s taught you?
MP: Well he’s a great veteran to have. Because he’s willing to teach you what he knows. I’m not sure that all vets are as open as him, as caring about the young guys on the team. So I’ve benefitted from that immensely and really there’s no one as passionate day-to-day as Kevin. It affects the whole locker room, but especially the young guys.