Brook Lopez refers to the Nets’ latest rebuild as ‘abnormal’
Brook Lopez‘s journey with the Brooklyn Nets has certainly contained its peaks and valleys. The talented center from Stanford has played on teams that some experts felt could compete for a title. He’s also played on some of the worst teams in recent memory.
In 2009-10, the Nets lost their first 18 games. They finished 12-70. Finally, Lopez made the playoffs for the first time in 2012-13. They advanced to the second round the following year, but aging acquisitions like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett quickly exhibited diminishing returns.
Their “title run,” if you can really call it that, was over before it actually started. In the process, they mortgaged away their future, leaving top pick after top pick in the hands of the Boston Celtics.
“I’ve only been in the league eight years, but I’ve seen a lot of different things in that time,” Lopez said. “Crazy stuff.”
With the Nets sliding down to the bottom of the NBA’s food chain, it wouldn’t be surprising for Lopez to be disgruntled with the situation. Instead, he’s embracing it.
According to Kerber, Brook was been working out with a number of younger players this summer in the Nets’ new ‘athletic performance department, which is headed by former Navy SEALS trainer Zach Weatherford.
Brooklyn’s new general manager Sean Marks has also involved Lopez in the franchise’s recruiting efforts in free agency, which is new for him.
“I called guys, texted guys, met guys. Isn’t that amazing?” asked Lopez, who reverted to his self-deprecating humor. “They said, ‘Let’s send the most antisocial guy we have to recruit …’”
Lopez admits that the rebuilding process in Brooklyn is unusual compared to what he has previously experienced, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“It’s abnormal,” he said. “It’s a good feeling. I know they’ve been harping on the culture and all but it’s a completely unique feel this time, like we’re moving in that right direction. It’s something people actually want to be a part of.”
With no incentive to lose given that next year’s first round pick can be swapped to Boston (and it will be as long as the Celtics finish with a better record than the Nets), it will be interesting to see how the Nets perform this upcoming season. They still have a long way to go, but Brooklyn’s “process” might finally be in an efficient state.