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At Center of Storm, Lopez Cool

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New Jersey Nets
New Jersey Nets

Brook Lopez still reads newspapers, but stops when he gets to the sports section. He doesn't want the distraction of reading where he may or may not be headed. "I’ve done all I could do. It’s out of my control," said Lopez. "Even before all the trade talk, just take it one day at a time. Learn what I can from it and go on."

Word from camp is that Lopez is stronger than he was last season, which is not surprising considering he came into camp after battling mononucleosis. And he is also just excited about being able to play basketball again.

"We’ve taken what we learned from last year, and you can tell already," he said. "We’ve gone over more in these 3-1/2, 4 quick, lockout-compressed training camp days than we did in all of last year in training camp." As of now, without any free agent signings, Lopez will start at center, backed up by Shelden Williams.