Brooklyn Nets

Brook Lopez’s Journey Shows He Is Under-Appreciated

Nov 29, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) reacts after hitting a three point shot against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 29, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) reacts after hitting a three point shot against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In his eight-plus NBA seasons, Brook Lopez has played for nine head coaches in three different arenas for one franchise (the Brooklyn Nets since 2012). He is rarely, if ever, mentioned with the greatest Nets of all time, but statistically, he already is.

Brook Lopez is currently averaging 18.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game on 50.3 percent shooting for his career. 20 games into his ninth season, he is averaging 19.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. For over eight seasons, Lopez has been the centerpiece for the Nets’ offense and the most consistent piece of the franchise.

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Lopez didn’t have the fanfare other, less-impactful big men have had going into the draft. He went to Stanford, not Duke or Kentucky. He has never been the type of player that wanted that media spotlight, to grab headlines, or to even seek attention. Lopez has shown unwavering loyalty to an organization that has kept his name on the trade block and his future an uncertainty.

There has been no off the court issues, no drama, no ultimatums or demands from Lopez–he shows up for every game and competes. Instead of focusing on these positives, people instead overstate his negatives: his lack of rebounding, his mediocre defense; he isn’t a leader or he isn’t a killer like Kobe, and so on.

Numerous head coaching changes and the constant roster turnover have left Lopez as the only Net left standing from their days in the Meadowlands. Lopez has seen the worst the Nets have to offer: 12-win seasons and Deron Williams’ leadership. Despite this, he proudly wears his Nets jersey and wants to be the foundation of their success, whether statistically or culturally.

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