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Mason Plumlee savoring home-court advantage for Slam Dunk Contest

Nets' Mason Plumlee poses at the American Express

Nets' Mason Plumlee poses at the American Express PIVOT Fan Experience in NBA House at NBA All-Star 2015 at Skylight at Moynihan Station on Feb. 12, 2015. Credit: Getty Images / Vivien Killilea

Mason Plumlee was coy when asked about his plans for tomorrow night's Slam Dunk Contest at Barclays Center. Possibly because he didn't even know himself what he was going to come up with.

"No, no, no. Everybody is asking that. I don't want to give it away,'' the Nets' big man said with a smile Thursday when asked for a preview during media availability at LIU Brooklyn for Friday night's Rising Stars Challenge, in which he is also taking part.

And then, on how much time he's spent honing his skills: "Probably 20 minutes. You find out in-season, we just came off a three-game trip. Tonight I'll go to the gym and mess around, but that will be the first time I've done anything really since I was told about it.''

This is the second year Plumlee has taken part in All-Star festivities -- he played in the Rising Stars Challenge last season, too -- but even though he hasn't had much time to practice, there's little doubt that this year, with this crowd, and a chance to show his dunking skills on his home court, is a little more special.

"I'm enjoying it more this year,'' he said. "I'll have fun playing in the game and the dunk contest is new to me, so I'll enjoy it . . . [and] if the fans are Brooklyn fans, it's a big advantage.''

He's already got some local royalty rooting for him. Knicks legend Bernard King and former Net Darryl Dawkins have picked him to be the winner. King will join Julius Erving, Walt Frazier, Nate Archibald and Chris Mullin on the judging panel.

"I think those are probably the only two guys that picked me, so I'm not feeling too much pressure, but I'm looking forward to it,'' Plumlee said. "It's one thing to be picked and another thing to win.''Plumlee will face the Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Magic's Victor Oladipo and the Timberwolves' Zach LaVine. He said he used to watch the dunk contest growing up and that his favorite, by far, was Vince Carter's dominant 2000 performance.

There's no doubt that Plumlee, who is about five inches taller than Carter, will have to go a different route, but he's prepared for that.

"You just have to do other things to make it look good to get the crowd excited,'' he said when asked about his size. "I've watched film. I've done my due diligence. I just have to get on the court and practice.''

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