NBA Superlatives: Robin Lopez

By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer

A July 2012 trade to New Orleans represented a new chapter and opportunity in the NBA career of Robin Lopez, who spent his previous four pro seasons as a member of the Phoenix Suns. The 24-year-old – who was born on April Fool’s Day 1988 – is the twin brother of Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez. Coincidentally, Lopez is one of a quartet of current Hornets players entering their fifth year in the league, including Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon and Jason Smith. Prior to making his official New Orleans debut on Halloween, the 15th pick of the 2008 draft listed some of the highlights from his time so far in the NBA:

Most memorable moment in the NBA: “My second season, when we made a run to the Western Conference finals in 2010 against the Lakers.”

Most memorable dunk in the NBA: “There was one during that Lakers playoff series where I got a tip dunk on Andrew Bynum. That’s the one that stands out to me the most.”

Most embarrassing moment in the NBA: “Last season, I got a perfect dish from Steve Nash, after I was coming off injury rehab. I had a wide-open layup, but I got the footing wrong, and the shot rimmed out.”

Most surprising thing about the NBA as a rookie: “I knew how talented everyone was going to be, but I was a little bit surprised by the pace of the game and the rate at which people make quick decisions. They are so decisive and make smart decisions at a high frequency.”

Toughest player to face at his position: “Al Jefferson of Utah is very skilled. He’s good at using his body and making himself bigger than he is. He’s very good with up-and-under low-post moves and very good at using both hands.”

Most underrated player in the NBA: “One of my good buddies in the NBA, Goran Dragic of Phoenix. I think he’s going to break out this year.”

Best uniforms in the NBA (besides the Hornets’): “Growing up in California, I was always a Lakers fan. I don’t know if that’s going to make me very popular to say that here. [smiles] The Lakers have always had nice jerseys. The Spurs’ black uniforms are very nice. The old-school Pistons. But I like the Hornets’ colors, too.”

Favorite road arena: “Orlando has a very nice arena. It doesn’t seem like you’re encased in concrete there. It is very comfortable. But I like traveling back to the Bay Area where I’m from and playing there.”

Favorite road trip, based on the city: “I like going to San Francisco. It’s close to where I grew up.”

Favorite in-game interaction with fans: “I get a lot of Sideshow Bob comments, but that’s a compliment. The guy is a criminal genius who went to an Ivy League school. He is really articulate and the voice is by Kelsey Grammer. I can’t go wrong with that.” [smiles]