Part of being a public figure means that you are periodically subjected to really stupid questions.
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Latest victim: Mason Plumlee, who was asked ("no offense...") if he made the team because of his ties to Coach K and Nike.
"I’m very proud that I went to Duke and I’m very proud that I wear Nike. And that has nothing to do with it. If you were at our practices, and at our training camp — anybody that was there would see why I made the team."
Answered like a true Dukie.
We'd like to add this: if Nike were a reason, there are a lot of players who could have been selected ahead of Plumlee, starting with LaMarcus Aldridge.
People get so caught up in the notion of talent being the end-all and be-all. The reality is somewhat more complex.
The game itself is 40 minutes long (FIBA rules that is). Any team needs to have roles defined rather than simply having players who are more or less equally talented complaining (fairly in a sense) about not getting enough minutes.
Aside from game roles, there are things which happen in practice which escape the public eye.
For instance, it could turn out that Plumlee does a great job of simulating opponents in practice, or that he simply works harder than anyone else does against Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins and pushes those guys to their limits.
How do you place a price on those sorts of contributions?
Duke fans will know that over the years, guys like Scott Goetsch, Bruce Bell, Jay Heaps, Matt Christensen, Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton have made contributions far beyond what could be reasonably expected.
The last thing anyone should want is an All-Star team. We've been down that road enough.