For Brook Lopez, the Dwight Howard questions never end


It's a business, the Dwightmare.

The Dwightmare may never end for Brook Lopez. Even at the All-Star Game, the NBA's leading scorer in the post is getting questions about the possibility of a trade for Dwight Howard ... despite public and private comments by Laker GM Mitch Kupchak who's said he will not deal the league's leading rebounder, period.

On Friday, Lopez was typically good-natured about the two men's intertwining careers, even when faced with odd questions like the one from ESPN's Henry Abbott, who asked if the constant trade rumors might make it difficult for the two Sunday on the court.

Lopez smiled and responded, "We'll probably get in a right when we're out there. No, Not at all. It's the business, you know, and we're professionals. we're out there to play basketball." Later, he noted that he and Howard know each other, have joined in charity work and "No hard feelings we get along great."

As for Howard himself, he admitted Kupchak has told him he's not being traded but offered some tantalizing points on his future.

"I've got to do what makes me happy," Howard said. "That's it."

Asked what makes him happy, and what has made him happy in the past, Howard said, "Having fun on the court. That's what makes me happy."

Perhaps the best interview of Lopez this weekend had little to do with Howard. Lopez's hometown paper, the Fresno Bee, spoke to him about his bounce back from last year's injury and how it affected him.

"Difficult," Lopez said of his time off. "I couldn’t do anything to help my team win. But it’s a silver lining because it gave me time to work on my game" with Dr. Jeremy Bettle, the Nets strength and conditioning coach.

He also he and the team are doing certain things to keep the foot injury from happening again.

"We saw what happened with me last year," he said. "I’m working on preventive measures that it doesn’t happen again."

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