Brook Lopez is having a good time this week. He's healthy, not rehabbing for the first time since 2011, playing well in camp. His boss dropped by Duke and called him "the best center in the NBA." Perhaps most importantly, he will be the subject of a "Star Wars" Night bobblehead doll in December. As he said, "pretty sweet."
"We talked about a Wookiee one, but we felt Jedi was more universal, though. We didn’t know if they would just be like, ‘Is this with his shirt off? Is this just hairy Brook Lopez?’" Lopez of course has been lobbying to play a Wookie in the next Star Wars.
On the court, Billy King says he's been unstoppable.
"Nobody can guard Brook. I'm just being honest. Whether it's shooting jumpers or inside. But you start thinking, 'Is our offense good or is our defense bad?' But that's probably the biggest thing, is nobody has been able to stop him. It looks like it's a continuation from last season, which is good."
And beyond his on-court play, Lopez is, as promised, showing more leadership. In talking with Chris Carrino and Tim Capstraw, Lopez displayed remarkable passion when talking about his teammates and his team.
"I cherish every time I put on the jersey... I look forward to wearing 'Brooklyn' across my chest every day.
"In camp, we all have a very positive outlook. We're excited for the season. I think the best thing that could happen to us is having lots of young guys who are in Jersey working out with us since before summer league, getting a majority of our guys in the gym, in the practice facility. working out, working together. Just getting those reps in the weight room, going up and down together during pick up ...
"It's helped build a sense of camaraderie and fostered a very positive environment for us. You can tell, going through training camp, going through the drills, we have each other's back. People are laughing, smiling. it's really fun to be around."
But into each life, a little rain must fall. In his case, it's the arrival of his brother, Robin Lopez, now a Knick.
"You mentioned stress. It's stressful, taxing. He's not a fun guy to put up with. But you make do, I suppose."
Lopez says he's enjoying watching players adjust to Lionel Hollins hard-nose style.
"It took time to get used to each other. It’s entertaining to see him get into some of the rookies and new guys that aren’t into his style yet for a change."
While a lot of people are focusing on his reputation for being goofy or the rivalry with his brother, in training camp and at Media Day, there is new Brook Lopez on display, one who the Nets need to meet or exceed their goals. More mature and more aware now that he's The Man, not just The Jedi.
- Brook Lopez excited for his Star Wars-themed bobblehead night Dec. 14 - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Brook Lopez gets a Star Wars bobblehead — and he’s thrilled - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Training Camp: Brook Lopez Interview (Video) - Chris Carrino & Tim Capstraw - Brooklyn Nets
- Brook Lopez gets a Star Wars bobblehead — and he’s thrilled - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- How the Nets are adjusting to Lionel Hollins’ bluntness - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- The bobblehead force is with Brook Lopez - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Bondy: Lopez twins add twist to Knicks - Nets 'rivalry' - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- The Twins Take Manhattan - Max Rivlin-Nadler - Maxim