Mason Plumlee bringing part fun, but more business to Nuggets locker room

Feb 15, 2017 | by Christopher Dempsey, The Denver Post

If you asked Mason Plumlee what kind of greeting he would get from his new Nuggets teammates, he would probably guess exactly what happened.

A rap song, “4500” by Will Roush, played in the Nuggets’ locker room Tuesday morning. If you don’t know Will Roush or the song, don’t fret. Let’s just say it’s not on the Adele level of popularity. Or even the Skee-Lo level.

But what the song does have is a few bars by Plumlee, the newest Nugget, acquired on Sunday in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers. Parts of the music video have Plumlee shooting cash out of a … what?

“A cash cannon,” Plumlee said.

“I don’t even know what that is,” said Nuggets coach Michael Malone, smiling. “But if it has cash in it, I kind of like the sound of it.”

“I’m trying to think,” Plumlee said. “I think we got that on Amazon.”

What does it do?

“It shoots out money,” Plumlee said between chuckles. “It’s a cool way to make it rain.”

The Nuggets thought it was a cool way to ingratiate Plumlee to his new team. It worked.

“They played it when I was in the locker room,” Plumlee said. “Every team I go to now, they are going to make fun of me for it. So I’m OK with it.”

Plumlee’s ability to laugh at himself will help him fit right into a locker room where players are always looking to play some sort of joke or prank. But the former Duke standout is also all business, the kind of player who watches film on the team plane, who’s always looking for an edge.

The Nuggets want that.

“I’m very excited to be here,” said Plumlee, a 6-foot-11 forward/center. “It did catch me by surprise, very much so. I expected some movement, but I didn’t expect it to be before the all-star break. But better for me to get here sooner. I’m looking forward to this.”

Plumlee is expected to make his Nuggets’ debut Wednesday night in the team’s last game before the all-dtar break, against Minnesota. He’ll probably start out as the backup center, but he can swing between both the forward and center positions, if need be. And if the Nuggets’ injury list continues to grow — they already won’t have Kenneth Faried (ankle), Danilo Gallinari (groin) and Darrell Arthur (knee) — Plumlee will find minutes plentiful in his first game with Denver.

“I think guys are more defined by what positions they can guard, so I feel comfortable guarding the four (power forward) and the five (center),” Plumlee said. “But I just go out and play to win. That’s kind of my game.”

The Nuggets hope to retain his services beyond this year. Plumlee is in the final year of his rookie scale contract and will be a restricted free agent, which allows the Nuggets the right to match any offer if they can’t strike a deal with him.

“It’s great to be wanted, more so than money or shots,” Plumlee said. “Everybody just wants to be wanted. You want to be valued, and you want to be part of something special. So to hear that is great. Now it’s this next stint, the rest of the season for me to get to know them and for them to get to know me, and hopefully they feel the same way at the end of the year.”