BROOK LOPEZ is a name that Nets fans will always remember fondly.
Drafted by the New Jersey Nets 10th overall in the 2008 draft, he played in all 82 games of that season and started in 75 after an injury to their starting center gave him the opportunity to start for the team, in which he put up solid numbers for the Nets. He was named to the All-Rookie First team, third in R.O.T.Y. voting, and was considered as the future franchise cornerstone of the then-named New Jersey Nets.
His time with both the New Jersey and Brooklyn Nets were nothing but solid and fruitful, he gave it his all during the good and bad times and he was rewarded not just with money; he was given love and affection by Nets fans all throughout his tenure with the team. His loyalty, personality, and journey with the team is (in my opinion) worthy of having his jersey hanged in the rafters with the other great Nets players. Yep, I just said it, Brook Lopez is an all-time great for the Nets.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end…
Ladies and gentlemen, when BILLY KING basically sold the future for quick and immediate results via (disastrous) trades; during that time not a lot of people questioned them, some actually PRAISED those moves and others argued they were a super-team with (aging) stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce along with Jason Terry, Gerald Wallace, and others. Needless to say; those moves did not pan out so well, and the once dubbed super team became a bad team with no cap space, no draft picks, horrible records, and little to no young talent available.
Of course, that all changed when the Markinson era attack. They traded Brook Lopez and the 27th pick (Kyle Kuzma) for D’Angelo Russel and Timofey Mozgov of the Los Angeles Lakers which, as of right now, is working pretty well for the Nets and pretty bad for the Lakers. Long story short, Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson weathered the storm, developed young talent and created a culture within the Brooklyn Nets that every team wishes they can emulate. Needless to say; Brook being traded was the start of something great, even with the expense of a great player and personality like Bropez.
Fast forward to this season, Jarrett Allen has taken the step forward in his sophomore campaign and has become the undisputed starting (and future) center for the up and coming Brooklyn Nets team that is currently on the hunt for their first playoff berth since the 2014-2015 NBA season with The For being a key cog for their playoff push. Let me list a few things that makes him a franchise cornerstone:
- Only 20 years old
- One of the best young, bright, and talented centers of the NA
- A defensive menace that is unafraid of contesting the shot (e.g. Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James)
- High-octane rim runner
- A great fit in Kenny’s offensive scheme
- Humble both off the court and in the court
- Usually attending charity events with other Nets players
- Interested in other things besides a basketball
All in all, his personality and work ethic is what attracted the Nets to him. He’s not your usual gym rat who lives and breathes basketball; he has a life outside of it, he has a smile as big as Rondae-Hollis Jefferson (he has a wide smile), and has all the potential in the world to be a game-changing big man, all he needs are the perfect mentors to teach him the ropes, the great veterans that’d teach him a thing or two about the game of basketball.
Now let me be clear about this; Ed Davis has been an amazing veteran for the young Fro, teaching him how to be a better rebounder, how to box out better, how to set screens and more. Yet, to really take the next step forward, wouldn’t it be AWESOME if Brook freaking Lopez came back and mentored Jarrett Allen on the art of posting-up and shooting three’s? Wouldn’t it be AMAZING if those two big, lovable nerds got together and suddenly we see Fro shooting more and more while still being the great rim running center we all know and love? It would be great for Splash Mountain to teach Fro about his experiences with KG, Paul Pierce, Jason Kidd and more.
It’s probably not going to happen, but a Brooklynite can dream can’t he? Besides, it’d be one heck of a nostalgic trip to see Brook Lopez in a Nets jersey again.
One used to be a franchise player.
The other is a franchise player.
One is the past, the other is the present and future.
At the end of the day, if we ever get to see them in the same team, as a Nets fan that would be one hell of a rush, a sight to see.
Featured Image: David Zalubowski/Associated Press