Mason Plumlee Elected to Dunk Contest


Wednesday afternoon, news broke that the final participant of the 2015 NBA Slam Dunk Contest was elected. The final spot went to Mason Plumlee, Brooklyn’s resident high-flyer. Plumlee has the ability to jump out of the gym at any given time and Nets fans have been in awe of his freak athleticism since his debut last November. He’ll join fellow dunkers Giannis Antetokuonmpo, Zach LaVine and Victor Olapido, which proves to be another uber-talented field.

Plumlee and the Greek Freak (Antetokuonmpo) are the only participants that rank in the top-50 in total dunks this season, mainly due to their length. LaVine and Oladipo are flashier with their insane 40+ inch verticals. All four have the sheer ability to put a defender on a poster every night and those who were hoping for another exciting dunk contest are in luck.

The selection of Plumlee might be a surprise for casual NBA fans who aren’t often watching Nets games on a nightly basis. For those who have the pleasure to watch him each night are fully aware of his ability to rock the rim. Unlike his competition, the majority of Mason Plumlee’s offense stems from dunking. He’s one of the league leaders in total dunks and field goal percentage, using the constant threat of a dunk to keep his defenders honest at all times. It has inversely allowed him to develop his mid-range and low post game, making the second year forward out of Duke a budding star with an ever-expanding skill set in the paint.

Let’s get down to brass tax. Plums is a powerful, finesse dunker with the occasional reverse jam that has been dubbed “EELMULPNOSAM” by Devin Kharpertian of The Brooklyn Game. He’s no stranger to getting the crowd on their feet after a ferocious slam and will certainly feed off the energy from his home fans as the All-Star festivities will take place at Barclays Center. Who knows, maybe he’ll channel his inner Dr. J and dunk from the foul line…wishful thinking of course. Although, it would be great to see Plumlee pay homage to the New York Nets legend by donning his jersey at some point in the night before one of his attempts.

What else can Plumlee bring to the table to help him stand out? It will certainly have to involve an alley-oop. One of Mason’s specialties is to finish above the rim on a fast break or a pick and roll. With the help of a teammate, Plumlee can create an innovative repertoire of lobs and off the backboard passes to appeal the judges. Don’t believe me? Just watch this short video below that shows Mason assaulting the rim in a highlight video taken during high school.

Included in the footage is his infamous three ball dunk achieved in ’09 that could’ve been a potential perfect score except for the fact that Javale McGee completing the dunk back in 2011. If there was ever a way for him to fine tune the dunk, it could set him apart from the competition. Included in the video was an impressive collection of unique jams. Hopefully, he can unlock that previous creativity next month.

For further viewing, be sure to check out the highlights from the 2009 McDonald’s All-American Slam Dunk Contest where he finished runner-up behind the Celtics’ Avery Bradley. It may have been six years ago, but Plumlee has the experience of participating in dunk contest in front of a sizable crowd that was nationally televised. He put on a clinic that night and all signs point to him and the other competitors bringing the crowd at Barclays Center to their collective feet on February 14th.

Dunkers in recent years have noticed their scores dwindle over a lack of originality. Hopefully, this new crop of dunkers from the Rookie and Sophomore classes can continue the resurgence of the storied dunk contest that is constantly looking for innovative ways to regain fan interest. Most importantly, a strong performance by the Nets forward will provide some positive news for the franchise that is recently become the subject of swirling rumors regarding potential trades and the owner putting the team on the market.

Be sure to keep up with From Russia With Dunk for more updates on Plumlee’s quest to capture the Dunk Contest crown and for plenty of other Brooklyn Nets articles and recaps.

Go Nets.