Despite a Draft night slide, Brook Lopez had a great year for the Nets. He's just getting started. As told to Konate Primus
It's been a good first year for me because I've had a lot of opportunities. Was it part of a plan to come in and play how I played? Yes and no. My plan was to take it game by game and gain the most experience out of every situation. As an athlete, you never want to come in and underachieve. In fact, I don't think anyone wants that. My mindset was to give it all I got and whatever came out I'd accept for the time being.
Last summer, in preparation for the season, I didn't really know what to expect, but I knew it would take a lot of hard work. So I got in the best shape I could, tried to be the best player I could. Personally I think it's gone very well. My coaches have a lot of confidence in me which has given me a ton of confidence as well, so that is kind of an assurance that the season went very well and I am moving in the right direction as a player.
The Draft played out differently than I thought it would. I wasn't expecting it but I ended up in New Jersey, which has really worked out. It turned out to be one of the better opportunities because I got a lot of minutes, which translated into a chance to show my game. Who knows if I would've had the same kind of confidence or year if I had played somewhere else? I may not be a flashy player but I put hard work in every night. I hear people saying I have a good shot at Rookie of the Year, but I'm just thankful that I'm being considered. This is an incredible rookie class, I think one of the most talented ever. Every night I'm playing against a rookie, whether it's Courtney Lee in Orlando, Batum, Rudy Fernandez and, though he's been hurt a lot, Greg Oden is still playing well in Portland. Don't let me forget about DRose and O.J. Mayo. I mean, I could go on and on, there are good rookies everywhere playing their hearts out.
So to hear people mention me highly amongst that kind of talent, it's really a big honor for me.
I'm happy with how this year turned out for me personally, but this is just the beginning. There are still a lot of things to work on this summer, like my speed, for both sides of the floor, and I would like to become faster and stronger defensively. The fans have been great from the beginning to the end, and I want to thank each and every person who has sup¬ported me this year in any way, shape or form. Next season will be a new year and a new opportunity to show off exactly what I mean when I speak on getting stronger and faster.