Photo Crediot: Brendan Awerbuch

Grounded by Foot Surgery, Lopez Now Flying High in Southampton

By Lenn Robbins | @lennrobbins

SOUTHAMPTON – Even for Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez, who might be the least conventional center in the NBA, Friday was an unconventional day.

It started at 5:30 a.m., when he arrived at the Nets’ practice facility in East Rutherford some two hours early for his helicopter ride to the Hamptons for the first-ever Brooklyn Nets Hamptons Basketball Camp powered by DRIBBL.

Lopez, a creative writing major at Stanford who is currently writing his own comic books when he’s not reading enough books to personally drive up Amazon’s sales, used the 90 minutes to work out.

Then Lopez and Nets’ coach Lionel Hollins boarded a helicopter for their first-ever chopper ride.

“We kind of looked at each other as we got in the helicopter," quipped Lopez. “We were a little bewildered."

This is how many celebrities get to and from the Hamptons, but Lopez has never been one to cling to celebrity. He was most comfortable a few hours later on terra firma, practicing and playing with some 160 campers.

Lopez, 26, was the tallest and possibly giddiest camp counselor.

“I think it is part of my makeup," Lopez told “I’ve always been a big kid – literally – so getting on the floor and playing with them, whether getting up and down, or playing in a game or doing drills, that’s no problem for me."

Neither is the right foot, which has plagued him for several seasons. Lopez re-broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot last December, ending his season.

He underwent surgery in January to repair the break and had a second procedure, a first metatarsal osteotomy, which will redistribute the weight Lopez places on the outside of his foot.

“It’s better every day,’’ Lopez said. “I feel great. It’s good just to be back out on the court, running up and down.

“I feel I can come out and be the best player I’ve ever been – no question. I get the feeling from working out every day, I’m well on my way to doing it."

Lopez, who is entering his seventh season, was well on the way to establishing himself as one of the elite centers in the NBA. He was averaging 20.7 points and six rebounds when he suffered the injury.

It was especially disappointing for Lopez, who has had to battle injury and the inaccurate perception that a man with an artistic yearning who is a little kid at heart can be driven to excel as a pro athlete.

Lopez has been clear that he intends to play the bulk of 2014-15 season with no restriction on minutes. As soon as he was allowed out of bed, the 7-0, 275-pound Lopez, who didn’t gain a pound during his recovery, was lifting weights and doing abdominal work.

“I think it’s gotten to the point now where a lot of professional [players] and coaches know my dedication to the game and my craft,’’ Lopez said. “But on the outside, it definitely may seem as though all those other interests might take away from my love of the game or what I’m trying to get out of playing basketball.

“My confidence is sky high right now. I feel like I can do everything. Obviously we want to take our time because the season is still far away, sort of ramp it up, but it feels great being out on the floor and I don’t feel limited at all."

Rapid Reaction: Nets vs. Cavaliers

Lenn Robbins recaps the Nets' 106-98 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Playlist 050814

Scroll Video up Scroll Video down Scroll Video left Scroll Video right

Rapid Reaction: Nets vs. Cavaliers

Lenn Robbins recaps the Nets' 106-98 win against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Mar 27, 2015  |  00:53

Dish Through the Defense

Alan Anderson gives the fake, drives and dishes to Brook Lopez for the bucket.
Mar 27, 2015  |  00:00

Circus Shot

Jarrett Jack drives, gets into the lane and gets the incredible shot to fall.
Mar 27, 2015  |  00:00

Johnson with the Answer

Joe Johnson shoots a clutch three pointer in the final minutes of the game.
Mar 27, 2015  |  00:20

Plumlee with the Slam

Joe Johson with the spin move sets up Mason Plumlee with the two handed slam.
Mar 27, 2015  |  00:08

Johnson Dishes to Lopez

Joe Johnson gives a pass to Brook Lopez for the easy one handed dunk.
Mar 27, 2015  |  00:07

Get to Know ‘Eazy’ Earl Clark

The Brooklyn Nets have signed forward Earl Clark to a 10-day contract. Earl Clark discusses his role with the Nets and his previous history as an NBA player.
Mar 27, 2015  |  02:20

Nets vs. Hornets 3/25/15

Brook Lopez scored 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Nets beat the Hornets.
Mar 25, 2015  |  00:00

Deron dishes to Anderson

Deron Williams dishes to Alan Anderson with the two handed dunk.
Mar 25, 2015  |  00:14

Lopez with the Clutch Shot

Brook Lopez makes clutch jumper at the end of the game.
Mar 25, 2015  |  00:15

Bojan with the Buzzer Beater

Bojan Bogdanovic with the buzzer beater at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Mar 25, 2015  |  00:16

Young with the spin move

Thaddeus Young on the break with a spin move layup.
Mar 25, 2015  |  00:06

Brook Lopez on the Break

Brook Lopez on a fast break with a hook shot against the Charlotte Hornets.
Mar 25, 2015  |  00:06

Brook Lopez Scores 34

Brook Lopez stays hot with 34 points and 10 rebounds.
Mar 24, 2015  |  00:00

The Brooklynettes presented by Crunch perform “Fight Night.”

The Brooklynettes perform “Fight Night” choreographed by Adar Wellington at Barclays Center.
Mar 24, 2015  |  01:19

2015 Brooklyn Nets Team Photo

Check out a behind the scenes look of the team photo shoot for the 2014-15 season.
Mar 24, 2015  |  00:31

Play of the Day - Deron Williams

Deron Williams shows off his handles and loses his defender before dropping the floater.
Mar 24, 2015  |  00:00

Celtics vs. Nets

Evan Turner had 19 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds as the Celtics beat the Nets on Monday night.
Mar 24, 2015  |  00:00

Rapid Reaction: Nets vs Celtics

Lenn Robbins recaps the Nets' 91-110 loss to the Boston Celtics.
Mar 23, 2015  |  00:51

D-Will Gets Fancy

Deron Williams crosses up the defense and gets the floater to fall.
Mar 23, 2015  |  00:00

Lopez Throws Down

Brook Lopez takes the feed under the rim and throws it down with authority.
Mar 23, 2015  |  00:00

Young And One

Thaddeus Young gets fouled and finishes with the layup.
Mar 23, 2015  |  00:13

Bogdanovic On The Spot

Bojan Bogdanovic is on the spot for this offensive rebound and putback.
Mar 22, 2015  |  00:00

Nets vs. Pacers

Brook Lopez scores 26 points, Bojan Bogdanovic adds 21 as the Nets top the Pacers 123-111.
Mar 22, 2015  |  00:00

Young Attacks the Rim

Thaddeus Young freezes David West with the head fake then flies in the lane and throws the hammer down.
Mar 21, 2015  |  00:13

Jefferson Slam Dunk

Alan Anderson finds Cory Jefferson for the slam dunk.
Mar 21, 2015  |  00:08

Bogdanovic And One

Bojan Bogdanovic hits the lay up and gets fouled.
Mar 21, 2015  |  00:14

Drive and Dish

Deron Williams finds Mason Plumlee who delivers with the dunk.
Mar 21, 2015  |  00:08

Rapid Reaction: Nets vs Bucks

Lenn Robbins recaps the Nets' 129-127 win against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Mar 20, 2015  |  00:49

Lopez's Big Night

Highlights from Brook Lopez as he scores 32 points and collects 18 rebounds in the Nets win.
Mar 20, 2015  |  00:00

Related Content