Brooklyn's Big Man Returns

By Kathryn Przybyla
Brooklyn's Big Man Returns - Brook Lopez

He's back.

Brooklyn's big man made it official at the July 9th press conference at Barclays Center after arriving in style via the New York City subway. So how does it feel for Brook Lopez to return as a Net?

"That's an easy one. It feels great to be returning. There was never a doubt in my mind I would go anywhere else. This is home for me and I'm happy to be here."

Joined by Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King, teammate Thaddeus Young, and newcomers Thomas Robinson and Shane Larkin, there was a sense of excitement in the air at the arena Lopez has called home since it opened three years ago.

"It's going to be mixing the new and old with everyone getting to know each other," Lopez said. "I think that will happen quick. We have big expectations for ourselves."

Along with those expectations comes the promise of the team's new HSS Training Center; currently under construction and slated to be completed during next season.

Although Lopez hasn't personally checked out the practice facility's progress yet, he's looking forward to its opening.

"I've looked at all the renderings and the artwork. It looks amazing."

But which amenity is at the top of his list?

"I'm pretty excited for the rooftop deck with the lounge area to hang out. That's impressive."

For Coach Hollins, it has been a priority to get the team more Brooklyn-centered, even hosting a few practices at Barclays Center last season, instead of the current practice facility in East Rutherford,N.J.. Eventually, that could mean a number of Nets players making the move from New Jersey to the borough they represent.

"I'm on the Jersey side of the Hudson right now, but leaning towards moving to Brooklyn, Dumbo maybe." he said.

And while Brook lays claim to Brooklyn, he's no longer the only Lopez in town. His twin brother Robin will make himself at home across the East River, with the Knicks next season.

"It's going to be interesting. I don't know if I'll help him too much. I want to make it as difficult as possible for him," Brook said. "Not sure how excited they'll be to have him. He's probably not going to be that enjoyable to be around … not that charismatic I hear."

One thing is for sure, New York City is already looking forward to a Lopez showdown in the Big Apple.

Between travel, catching up with friends and family, and maintaining a workout regimen, Brook has stayed busy in the offseason.

Sporting a new haircut, Brook just returned from a friend's wedding back home. The wedding, he noted, was the reason for the clean-cut look.

"It wasn't for the press conference," he laughed.

As for the rest of the summer, he'll have no trouble keeping busy.

"In my family, Robin loves planning the trips. He does the itineraries and everything, always sends them out in a mass text," Lopez said.

"We're going to Dubrovnik, Prague and Budapest this summer. And then the two of us are working on a kids’ show script as well that we're going to be shopping soon."

But when it comes down to it, Brook's most looking forward to getting back on the court right here in Brooklyn: his home.

"I'm so happy to be back here and thrilled by the fans’ continued support. We'll be looking out for you guys next year, in-house at Barclays Center and all around the world."

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