It reads like the famous airport scene from Home Alone 2.
On Monday, via a report by ESPN's Ian Begley, we learned the story of Marshall Plumlee — a former Duke University basketball product who has bounced around the Knicks organization for the entirety of the offseason — and his scamper to Madison Square Garden on Sunday morning for the Knicks' home game vs. the Atlanta Hawks.
Marshall Plumlee received a phone call from a Knicks staffer on Sunday morning with a request he wasn't expecting.
Article continues below ...
“Hey, we need you to guard Dwight Howard” was what Plumlee heard on the other line.
With Joakim Noah sidelined with injury, the Knicks were short a big man to help defend the opposition's daunting physical presence.
Plumlee reacted quickly. He lives near a Metro North train station in Westchester, a county that borders New York City to the north, so he boarded an express train to Grand Central. He pulled in to the station at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue and jumped into a cab to head to Madison Square Garden on 33rd and 7th Avenue.
Time was of the essence, so Plumlee said he paid a cab driver a $60 tip to run a red light. The traffic was brutal, so Plumlee eventually got out of the cab and started running to the arena.
“Sprinting through the city,” he said. “I got here, they said, ‘Hey, do you need a warmup?’ I said, ‘No, I’m already warm. I ran here.’ ”
Plumlee arrived at the arena midway through the first quarter. He suited up and made his NBA debut in the second quarter, defending Howard. He ended up playing 5:36 and grabbing one rebound in the Knicks' win over Atlanta.
Plumlee still seemed dazed by the day's activities even after the fact:
“It was crazy,” he said. “I feel I could write a book about it.”
There's a lesson for you up-and-coming NBA-hopefuls … ALWAYS keep your phone on through the night because you never know when or where your big break will potentially come.