After going off for 26 points in the season opener against the Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez decided to show off his passing game in San Antonio, notching four assists against the Spurs in a lopsided loss. Lopez pumped in 17 points to pace the Nets, outscoring coveted free agent LaMarcus Aldridge before succumbing to the Spurs.
“They move the ball super well,” reflected Lopez on his opponent. “They make us play the full shot clock. That’s something we want to emulate. They do a good job of packing it in, taking away our drives, and taking away a lot of our passing lanes.”
Lopez took to the glass in Memphis on Sunday, recording his first double-double of the season versus the Grizzlies. Despite his efforts on the rebounding end, the Nets suffered their third straight loss to open this year’s campaign. While the Nets struggle to find consistency, Lopez appears to have completely recovered from the foot and ankle injuries that have hampered him in recent memory.
The former All-Star has also developed into a leader in the locker room, a far cry from when he was involved in trade rumors for center Dwight Howard and guard Reggie Jackson. In a league lacking traditional quality big men, Lopez stands out for his ability to play with his back to the basket and on the wing. The Nets fully embraced Lopez and his skillset over the summer with a three-year, $63.4 million contract.
Off the court, Lopez is know for his varied interests, which include concerts, comic books, and cosplay. Growing up in California with his twin brother Robin, the young Cubanos were exposed to literature, music, and sports at an early age by their mother and grandmother. Lopez’s love for the written word continues to this day, and he has aspirations to become a novelist.
With Robin now jumping center in Madison Square Garden for the Knicks, the Lopez family is well-represented in the pantheon of New York City hoops. As both teams continue on the path to respectability, each faces a steep climb.
“We played three very good teams,” Lopez told reporters in Memphis. “They were a good test for us, two of them on the road. We did a lot of very good things. We have a lot to learn from but I think we’ve seen improvement in a lot of areas throughout the last three games.”
The Nets returned to Brooklyn last night for a showdown against the Milwaukee Bucks and former coach Jason Kidd. Desperate for their first win of the season, Lopez and company fell short against the Bucks at home, despite a late push. Things won’t get any easier for the Nets as they face Al Horford and the Hawks in Atlanta on Wednesday. If a win doesn’t come soon, expect rumblings in Brooklyn.