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Brook Lopez Draft Night Diary

Often times, when giving their first handful of interviews after being drafted by an NBA team, a freshly minted rookie will express that it was their lifelong dream to play in the NBA, and that the night was in one way or another surreal. So what actually happens on draft night after a player realizes his dream? Nets Magazine was there with one of the newest Nets, Brook Lopez, for the first couple of hours after the Nets selected him with the No. 10 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. The following is a minute-by-minute recount of Lopezs first day as a Net.

June 26, 2008

8:27The Charlotte Bobcats select D.J. Augustin with the ninth pick in the draft, meaning the Nets are on the clock.

8:32"With the tenth pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, the New Jersey Nets select Brook Lopez from Stanford University."

8:32A sizeable contingent of Nets fans who made the treks from New Jersey and Brooklyn are at the WaMu theater at Madison Square Garden as evident by the cheers from the crowd when the Nets selected Lopez.

8:33A successful venture on stage for the standard congratulatory handshake from the commish.

8:34Brook goes directly from the stage to an interview area to the right of the draft stage with Stephen A. Smith from ESPN. Very comfy looking chairs on set for Stephen A. and the draft picks.

8:38After finishing up his on-air segment ESPN, Lopez makes his way to ESPN radio, which is located in the WaMu theater. When Nets fans get their first up close look at Lopez they are going to realize that he is all of seven feet and possibly more. A big guy, who for a 20 year old, definitely has the size and strength to blast through the rookie wall next season.

8:39The newest Net cant wipe the smile off his face. Although, its a pretty safe bet that pretty much anyone would be happy about the prospects of being on the receiving end of alley-oops from Vince Carter and Devin Harris.

8:44Lopez finishes his segment with ESPN radio and leaves the WaMu theater for a trip to an area that the NBA has set up in the Garden where hundreds of local and national networks and reporters can interview each player that was on hand at the draft.

8:47For a guy that has just been drafted and is being grilled with questions about joining the Nets and playing without his brother for the first time (which will be the theme of the evening) Lopez has an especially calm demeanor about him. A characteristic that, along with his obvious physical gifts, will be a major benefactor to the Nets in clutch situations next season.

8:56As Brook is going along on his own press tour of The Garden, he has some technical difficulties with a microphone that the NBA was using as they followed his evening. A few NBA staffers come up big for Lopez, as they used their jackets to huddle around him and create a makeshift dressing room for Lopez to fix the issue.

8:58Brook kindly asks if the press tour can stop for a moment, as he is sure that his brother Robin (who the Nets brought in for a pre-draft workout) is about to be picked by the Phoenix Suns.

8:59For a guy that has been cool, calm and collected all night, Brook is showing his first signs of nervousness as he and his former Pac-10 rival, Kevin Love, wait to see if Brooks hunch is correct and his brother is selected by the Suns.

9:00Robin Lopez goes to Phoenix with the 15th pick. High-fives all around for Brook and Kevin Love.

9:05During an interview with Brook overhears ESPNs Jay Bilas say that Robin Lopez might have a chance to be the better of the two Lopez brothers. Brook does not seem amused.

9:08Brook mentions in the same interview that he is excited to move to the New York area because he loves Broadway, and he cant wait to play in New Jersey because hes a big Bruce Springsteen fan. A true man of culture.

9:16The Lopez brothers do a joint interview for NBA International. The similarities are obvious, but the brothers definitely have different styles. Brook is without question the clean cut version, saying that Robin avoids the barber any chance he gets.

9:20The interview area that the NBA has set up is truly a mass of people. Not surprisingly, Brook appears to be the most relaxed of all.

9:37Brook has made his way back to the phone room where he will speak with Nets President Rod Thorn, General Manager Kiki Vandeweghe and Head Coach Lawrence Frank for the first time.

9:38As he waits to get on the phone the Nets select Ryan Anderson out of California with the 21st pick. Brook cant contain his excitement, saying Anderson will fill right in for his younger brother as his new side kick.

9:41Brook gets the chance to speak with Thorn, Vandeweghe and Frank for the first time. During his conversation with Coach Frank, Brook mentions that he is looking forward to helping Nets get back to the playoffs, where they had been for six consecutive seasons prior to this year. Always nice to have guys who know and appreciate a teams history.

9:54Back to the interview area for satellite feeds to networks in California.

10:15When someone asks him whether he will miss his brother Brook explains, "Are you kidding me, Ive seen way too much of that guy over the past 19 years." Classic.

10:23Interesting side-note from the former Stanford great. Brooks lucky charm is a Pepperdine baseball cap that he only wears backwards.

10:35In an interview with NBA TVs Andre Aldridge, Brook admits that he wasnt nervous at all the night before the draft, and actually overslept on the morning of the draft.

10:45Its a family photo session as the members of the Lopez clan get their photos taken by NBA photos.

11:00With the night finally over and the Lopez army prepared for a celebratory meal at an Italian restaurant in Manhattan, Brooks older brother Chris expresses a quick request. He wants to wear number 11 when he debuts with the Nets next season.

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