Know-A-Net: Brook Lopez
September 18, 2008
by Ben Couch -- NJNETS.COM
East Rutherford, NJ — Brook Lopez loves answering questions. Or maybe he just can’t stop himself from giving interesting answers. That inherent ability toward engaging storytelling resulted in undertaking a creative writing major at Stanford, a degree he plans on finishing.
But it’s his on-court talent that made Lopez a lottery pick. The New Jersey Nets drafted Lopez 10th overall after the center averaged 19.3 points and 7.5 rebounds in 25 games for the Cardinal during his sophomore season. And when he faced his first NBA-level competition at the Orlando Summer League, his scoring output improved in each of five games (from 10 in the first to 25 by the last).
We had the chance to speak to Brook after one of this month’s voluntary workouts. It’s time to Know a Net!
NJNets.com: What’s your first basketball memory?
Brook Lopez: I remember playing in the backyard with my older brothers. I was pretty young. I wasn’t in school yet. We had a doghouse out back for our two dogs, and they’d be running around the whole time. We’d play with my older brothers and my dad, too. It was crazy.
NJNets.com: When did you start playing organized ball?
Lopez: My first organized game was in first grade. We were playing up with second graders, on a Slam-N-Jam team in LA. Robin and I were on the same team. I think we placed third. Those trophies are somewhere.
NJNets.com: Who most encouraged you as a basketball player?
Lopez: Probably my older brothers. I’d definitely say them. And my mom, too, just because she had it a lot worse being a swimmer and having to wake up early, swim before school and then swim after school, just miles a day.
NJNets.com: When did you realize you had real talent for basketball?
Lopez: I don’t know if I was really ever able to beat my older brothers, but I knew when I got close to them, I’d probably be all right.
NJNets.com: When was your first dunk?
Lopez: Seventh grade, I think. A group of my friends and I were outside during second lunch, we had intramurals. I was just trying to do it for some reason, I can’t remember why. I got pretty close, so we stopped and I was just trying to dunk. I was 6-foot-3.
NJNets.com: What was your most embarrassing moment?
Lopez: In that league in first grade, I remember one play I went up for a rebound, and my shorts just fell down. They were so loose ’cause I was playing with older kids. It was the most embarrassing thing. I stopped everything and just picked them up real quick.
NJNets.com: What was your toughest loss?
Lopez: Probably in the state playoffs in high school our senior year. I don’t want to talk about it. We really should have won that one.
NJNets.com: What shoes will you be wearing? What are your favorite all-time?
Lopez: Probably Adidas. I’ve always liked the Pro Models. They’ve been out for a while – I’ve worn them since seventh grade.
NJNets.com: What’s your gameday routine?
Lopez: At Stanford, I usually took a nap on the couch, until we had to go out. Then I did form shooting close to the basket, shot a lot of hooks and then one free throw.
NJNets.com: What’s the best way to relax after a game?
Lopez: Go home, go back to the dorm and forget about the game. Just hang out.
NJNets.com: What’s your favorite food? Restaurant?
Lopez: Salmon or spaghetti. My favorite fast-food is probably In-N-Out. I go animal-style on the fries, not the burger. I get a 4x4 (burger), no tomatoes or onions, the animal-style fries and a chocolate shake.
[For those not familiar with the Left Coast, “animal-style” fries – which can be ordered off In-N-Out’s “Not-So-Secret Menu” – come smothered in cheese, “spread” (similar to thousand island dressing, says Wikipedia) and onions. The 4x4 burger has four patties and four slices of cheese. Both are delicious. I’ll vouch.--BC]
NJNets.com: What kind of experience do you have with fantasy sports?
Lopez: I had a fantasy football team freshman year; my friend from high school brought me into it. I did the draft, and that was it. I don’t know how well I ended up doing.
NJNets.com: Do you play the NBA video games? How does your virtual self stack up?
Lopez: I play them, and I play both. I don’t know which one I like more. Probably the later 2K’s, but I always played Live when I was little, up until pretty recently. They had an advance copy of ’09 at the Draft for people to play, and Ryan and I weren’t in it, for some reason, though Chris was.
NJNets.com: They must be Pac-10 haters.
Lopez: [Laughs] Yeah, I guess.