Mason Plumlee was pretty candid in his post game interview with Altitude TV’s Vic Lombardi following one of the biggest losses of the year for the Denver Nuggets. Plumlee hinted at a lack of leadership and accountability and signaled that the season won’t be successful until they find that vocal leadership.
Mason Plumlee: You know, I think it’s going to take some leadership, some...hold people accountable. Somebody has got to step forward and kind of be a voice, you know, and get on people and it can’t just be from the staff, we have to take ownership internally and, you know, deal with it.
Vic Lombardi: Not to make excuses but is that perhaps a void left behind by Paul and his injury?
Plumlee: Well he didn’t, you know...we miss Paul as a player but he wasn’t super vocal. So, we miss him on the floor but this very well could’ve happened with him on the team too. You know, this group we have and we have to do a lot better with it and we can do a lot better with it.
Vic: Is that something that can change? You’ve been on enough teams to understand, can you change that?
Plumlee: Yeah, and it has to change if we want to make this season worthwhile. So it’s got to happen.
Denver’s season has been quite the roller-coaster so far this season. They scored 146 points just 11 days ago. Tonight, they scored just 77 points.
Nikola Jokic is the team’s best player but at just 22 years old, he likely still has a long way to go in honing his leadership skills. Jokic’s father, Branislov Jokic, actually talked about this process in an interview with Alo.rs over the summer.
"Its a huge burden on my son, as Nikola is only 22 years old. For someone to become a leader as LeBron James is in Cleveland, Nikola needs another three-four years. I'm not comparing my son with LeBron, I'm merely talking about qualities of a leader. Leader of a team has the right to yell at another teammate when necessary and nobody should rebuke him from doing so. For Nikola to become someone like that he needs years to pass by and experience"*
For now, you can expect leadership to be a hot topic around Pepsi Center as this young Denver roster continues to figure out what kind of team they are and what kind of team they are going to be.
*Translation provided by Stiffs reader, Igor Cecar