Both Miles Plumlee and Mason Plumlee, graduates from Duke University in the past three years, were picked for the 'USA Select' team to practice against United States Mens National Team (USMNT) players for a week in Las Vegas.
The 'Select' team is a collection of young talent, generally first or second year players, brought in to give a good workout to the 19 players selected for the Mens National Team that will represent USA for the FIBA World Cup next month.
Both players are about 7 feet tall and highly athletic. Miles started 79 of 82 games for the 48-win Phoenix Suns last year, while Mason started 22 games for the 44-win Brooklyn Nets after regular starter Brook Lopez was lost for the season.
USMNT Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski is also the coach of Duke, so he's highly familiar with both Plumlees, making their selection even less of a mystery than simply being chosen on merit and size.
Under Krzyzewski, neither player was highly productive in the statistical department but both were taken in the latter half of the first round of the NBA Draft based on their measurables and athleticism. Quite frankly, the Plumlees are two of the highest flying big men in the NBA.
As the week in Vegas comes to a close, Mason has come out just a bit ahead of Miles.
The Blue-White intrasquad game, which concludes four days of training that started July 28 in Las Vegas, will feature all 19 members of the 2014 USA Basketball National Team and Mason Plumlee (Brooklyn Nets), who was a member of the 2014 USA Select Team and who was added for the Showcase.
"In order to have two squads of 10 players we needed 20 players. Mason Plumlee performed well in camp with the USA Select Team and because of the position he plays he was a logical choice to be part of this game," said Jerry Colangelo, USA National Team managing director.
--Official release from the USMNT
The USMNT players who will represent the US are split up as such for the Blue-White game.
The USA White Team, coach by USA assistant coach and Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, includes Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons); Durant; Harden; Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers); Paul Millsap (Atlanta Hawks); Chandler Parsons (Dallas Mavericks); and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors).
The USA Blue Team, which will be led by USA assistant coach and New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams, includes Curry; Davis; DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz); Kyle Korver (Atlanta Hawks); Plumlee; Rose; and John Wall (Washington Wizards).
"The USA Basketball Showcase has been an exciting conclusion to the USA Basketball National Team Las Vegas training camps since 2007 and this year's game promises to be as exciting and as competitive of a game as we've ever had," said Colangelo. "After four days of training, the players are looking forward to playing in a competitive game situation. The game will also be beneficial in our decision making process for selecting finalists for our team that will eventually represent the United States at the FIBA Basketball World Cup."
The 2014-16 USA Basketball National Team coaching staff features USA head coach and Duke University's Naismith Hall of Fame mentor Mike Krzyzewski. Serving as assistant coaches are USA Basketball and Syracuse University and Naismith Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim, Thibodeau and Williams.
Not only has Mason moved ahead of Miles for that one Select Team member inclusion in the Showcase, it appears that Mason also has a leg up on the mercurial DeMarcus Cousins for a full-time spot on the 12-man team that heads overseas to represent the USA in the World Cup, hosted by Goran Dragic's Slovenia.
Since then, twitter has been alight with preturbation (not to be confused with rosterbation) over this development. In no way is Mason Plumlee a better basketball player than DeMarcus Cousins.
Unfortunately, Miles Plumlee has failed to become the first Suns representative on the USMNT since, well, Barkley? Maybe since Shawn Marion. I dunno. Maybe Scott Howard can look this up. But Nash was Canadian and Amare was always protecting his knees in the offseason.
Who on the Suns could be added over the next couple of years to the USMNT to represent the USA in international competitions? The team has been 'set' for the next three years, I know. But still there's replacements as guys go through contract issues.
The only Phoenix Suns player I see, right now, representing the USA for Coach Mike just might be that one dude who can't seem to find a pen to sign his contract this summer. He's the only one of US descent with the talent to make this squad.
Bogdan Bogdanovic was an architect.
This came up in a past entry of Solar Flares, but for those unfamiliar, STAT also has his own cookbook. For the less kosher population, we have this collection of recipes, favorites among the early 80s Suns, their spouses and family members. For $23 after shipping you too can learn the secret of "Truck Robinson's Favorite Shrimp Creole" or "Johnny High's Favorite Coconut Cake."
It's hard to gauge the desirability of this jersey. Many fans will want the name of a player on the back, but the rarity of this piece can't be disputed. This is an authentic sample of the Latin Nights jersey that eventually was adopted by many squads throughout the Association. The seller has samples for several other teams for sale as well. This will turn heads, there's no doubt about that. 350 bucks all in and it's yours.
Ok, before you get excited about this one you should know that it's no longer for sale. I only bring it to your attention because the seller has several Euroleague jerseys, and I think there's a fairly good chance that another one of these pops up in the near future. This jersey features corporate sponsorship on the front, which is something you have to look forward to in the NBA, and is from Bogdanovic's 2013-14 season with Partizan Belgrade B.C. Bogdanovic was named the Euroleague's Rising Star and was the Serbian League's Finals MVP. Bidding on this jersey got up to $109 plus $10 shipping.
Hmmmmm. Firstly, I'll leave this here. I don't really know what to say about this one. Special edition? Ok, if you say so. Tag reads "Made in Russia." Tag also reads "Mitchell and Ness" and "Reebok." My best guess is this is a misprint from the seedy underground world of counterfit jerseys that you should totally involve yourself in because they're like 20 bucks a pop and you can afford the occasional hilarious error. If you're entrepreneurial like I was 10 years ago, maybe you even talk your little brother into selling them at a 300% profit. Beware this conversation though:
Brother: Hey man, I don't think these are really "authentic" NBA shorts.
Me: Why, what's wrong?
Brother: They have pockets.
This guy wants you to buy at $109 plus another $5 for shipping. Don't do it! It's a trap!
Another puzzler. It's unlikely you'll come across another one of these. A Charles Barkley "Hall of Fame Legends" jersey following his enshrinement in 2006. Further proof that if money can be made, the NBA is on top of it. One does have to wonder however, how many of these jerseys do you think were sold? No bids on this one, it opens at $16 with $6 shipping.