What lengths will you go through to make your NBA debut? For New York Knicks rookie Marshall Plumlee, the answer was simple: Run through the notorious New York City traffic.
Plumlee, whom the Knicks assigned to their D-League affiliate Westchester, got a last minute call Sunday afternoon about suiting up for the team against the Hawks at Madison Square Garden. Of course, there’s no way Plumlee is turning down that offer but he has one problem. Traffic was at its peak during afternoons and it has gone so bad he had to bribe the driver with a $60 tip to speed through the streets and run a red light so he would make it on time. Apparently, he needed more than that.
“I was asleep,’’ Plumlee said. “I was going to sleep in a little bit. Imagine being woken up and saying, ‘Hey, we need you to guard Dwight Howard.’’’
Living near a Metro-North station, Plumlee elected to take the express train to Grand Central. That went well, but the cab ride to the Garden didn’t. Stuck in traffic, Plumlee said he paid the cab driver to dash through at least one red light.
But eventually, after a $60 tip, Plumlee hopped out. Traffic was too severe, and the 7-footer bolted the final few blocks to the Garden.
“I sprinted over as fast as I could,’’ Plumlee said. “… My phone was blowing up: ‘Are you almost here? Are you almost here?’ I don’t think they realize those texts just slow you down so I put the phone away.
“But I got here. They said, ‘Do you need a warm-up?’
“I’m already warm. I ran here.’’
The experience was so exhilarating Plumlee thought he could write a book about it. And what did he get for his efforts? He finished with one rebound (0 points) in five minutes of action but the Knicks won 104-94, thanks to Carmelo Anthony’s 31 points.
I’m sure Marshall is going to take it.