INDIANAPOLIS - Leave it to the crafty veteran to import some timely wisdom into a new predicament.
It was obviously one of the first questions to be asked when the Duke forward was introduced by the Pacers to the media on Friday afternoon.
"I've dealt a lot with that in my career," said Plumlee when asked about the criticism of the pick. "I'm extremely confident that I can be apart of something here and contribute."
A few minutes later, the crafty Walsh put it all quickly in perspective.
"I got booed off the stage for my first which was Chuck Person, he was Rookie of the Year. I got booed because people didn't know him," said Walsh of the 1986 NBA Draft. "And I got booed for Reggie Miller, who turned out to be a pretty good player."
The latter was the 1987 Draft, when the selection of the UCLA guard was overshadowed by the disappointment of the team not picking up popular Indiana guard Steve Alford. Specifics, however, were not the point to Walsh's message that early perception is worth little.
"It always amuses me that people judge the draft the next day and yet they have not seen the guy play, they have not seen him play within the team," said Walsh. "So I've always felt wait till next year. We'll see how this all turns out."
Its a pair of tales from Walsh that might give Pacers fans and critics some perspective but it is clear that Plumlee will be in a proving mode once he hits the court for summer league play in a couple of weeks.
Few had the four-year Blue Devil going in the first round and some even left Plumlee out of the draft all together. In his senior season with Duke he scored 6.1 points and grabbed 7.1 rebounds a game, not overwhelming statistics but Plumlee believes his overall play can land him a spot on the roster.
"I'm confident in my abilities and I'm confident I can contribute to this team," said Plumlee when asked about the skepticism by some fans in his ability to help the Pacers. "I'm gonna work and do what I can to do that as quickly as possible."
Most of the Pacers front office is counting on Plumlee's athleticism to make that happen quickly. It was the key attribute that head coach Frank Vogel and General Manager Kevin Pritchard saw in Plumlee's workout in Indianapolis earlier in June.
Both feel that he can be a player to do most of the "dirty work" inside, reminiscent of the recently retired Jeff Foster. But Pritchard was quick to point out that getting to that point will be a work in progress and that bringing out Plumlee's potential will take time.
"This kid knows who he is. Doesn't mean he's not talented, not saying that, because I think he's extremely physically gifted. But he knows he's in there and he's going to defend his tail off," said Pritchard of Plumlee. "He's gonna work hard on the boards. He's going to be a great teammate. That sounds like I'm downplaying what he can really do, there's a lot of other things he's going to develop.
"It's not going to happen overnight. But we think long term this kids is going to be a really good player."
In fact its picking up little things in practice that Plumlee believes might have gotten him a future job in Indianapolis.
"I know they saw I was coachable, that I pick things up quickly," said Plumlee of his workout with the Pacers in June. "They know I'm going to work hard. I'll do anything to fit in here."