NBA Stars Kenneth Faried and Mason Plumlee Talk Victory Shmoney Dance, NFL Woes And More
September 25, 2014 - 9:04 pm
Team USA is officially back on top of the international basketball food chain. Even after Kevin Durant backed out and Paul George went down with that horrific leg injury, NBA youngin’s like Anthony Davis, James Harden and 2014 FIBA Tournament MVP Kyrie Irving held it down and led Stars & Stripes to that gold medal. We caught up with two Team USA members, Brooklyn Nets center Mason Plumlee and Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried to talk about their championship experience, get their thoughts on the issues plaguing the NFL and the now vined a million times shmoney dance celebration after winning gold.
Check out what they had to say by hitting the arrows above.
People questioned whether either of you should make the team, but you both had great showings once you did. Did the screams from the haters add extra motivation?Kenneth Faried: People thought I wound’t make [the team] or I wouldn't really be a part of the team or be able to withstand playing over there, all this other stuff. Everyone’s entitled to their opinions no matter how foolish they are or idiotic it may sound. I just took the criticism and blatant disrespect for me and my game, and I wanted to go out and prove everyone wrong.
Mason Plumlee: Once I was on the court, the people that were in the gym in vegas at our open practices and tryouts weren’t surprised I made the team. To me, all the speculation came from people that weren’t at the practices and didn’t know what was going on. People that weren’t there are going off of what was done last season. Even though I had a good season for a rookie, it’s not what the other guys were doing. But I’m not gunna not make the team because of what other people say. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m glad I was a part of it.
On top of that, I think U.S.A. basketball has risen to the occasion because it’s no longer about just throwing All Stars out. It’s about putting a team together with the right pieces.MP: You’re completely right. If they wanted to pick the best 15 scorers, then maybe I don’t make it. They were trying to put together a team and that’s what Coach Krzyzewski and Jerry Colangelo were looking to do.
What’s funny Kenneth, is that other than Anthony Davis, you had the breakout performance in terms of consistency of the tournament?KF: it seemed like myself and AD were the guys people kept talking about. I kept getting the questions about one of us being the favorite to win MVP and my response was always I didn't come here for that, I came to win a gold medal. that’s what i cared about and I did that.
Were you surprised at all about Anthony Davis becoming the focal point and leader of the team?KF: I think it was just the time and the place. Anthony’s always been this type of player. He did it in college, he’s been doing it in the NBA as an All Star this year. Anthony’s always had it, it was just a matter of time.
We can’t talk about Team USA winning without talking about the celebration. Was the team bustin’ out the Simony Dance an organic thing? MP: DeMarcus [Cousins] was like do the Simony Dance when the confetti falls and I didn’t even know what he was talking about. I was looking around just trying to do what the other guys were doing.
Wait, you didn’t know what it was? [Laughs] You had one of the best ones.MP: I had heard about it but I didn’t... I hand’t practiced it, I’ll say that [laughs].
KF: We decided we’d do it and it was just kinda like aaaayyeeee *hits shmoney dance* the way he threw his hat up. Once the confetti came down, it was like us throwing our hats up. We just won, lets do it
The only person who never dances is Derrick Rose, but he had good warming up I’ll say. Did he look NBA ready to you?KF: [Shakes head] Oh yeah, he’s going to be ready. It’s gunna be scary for sure when he comes back.
The only other teammate who obviously couldn’t be there was Indiana Pacers star Paul George. What was your reaction when he went down?MP: The first thing I said was not again because I was in the Louisville game with Kevin Ware broke his leg. I was just hoping that wasn’t what happened, but then with the crowds reaction, you just knew something bad had happened. You don’t want that to happen to anybody. But he’ll bounce back, he’s a strong dude. I’m sure he’ll be better than before.
With the way the NBA is flourishing right now, what are you’re thoughts to the contrary with everything happening in the NFL?MP: What’s happening in the NFL, and all the other organizations, the NHL, MLB and NBA, hopefully we’re learning from their mistakes. I think that’s what the best organizations do. We don’t have to wait for it to happen in house, you see what’s happening over there and figure out how to be proactive and keep it from happening with our franchises and organizations.
KF: I don’t know what’s going on with that league. Hopefully it all boils over and nothing but positivity comes from all this. Hopefully they’ll get new people and new energy there to make their image better.
Also, while things are going well as a whole for the NBA, there have been some controversies that have come out as of late. Starting off with Donald Sterling and now with Danny Ferry and the Hawks organization. What are your thoughts on the situation that’s happening in Atlanta?MP: Honestly, I’m not as in touch because we were overseas and we had no news really. From what I’ve heard second hand, I think it’s unfortunate. I don’t know Danny Ferry as well, so I don’t want to speak on his situation. The Donald Sterling thing can’t be tolerated. Myself and the other players were very proud of how Adam Silver handled that situation. Racism shouldn't be tolerated in any corporation, any organization, it shouldn't happen.
KF: It’s gunna get resolved. Things like that, I don't really care to really speak on, but hopefully the right stuff will happen.