Milwaukee Bucks big man Brook Lopez is currently spending his summer suited up for Team USA in the FIBA World Cup. He is playing for a team that hoops fans consider to be weaker than their usual delegations.

While there are questions as to whether Lopez and his teammates will be able to win the World Cup, an interesting, if not bizarre, chain of events happened during Team USA’s scrappy 84-68 over Canada in Sydney.

Marc Spears was the first to report on Sydney’s strange affection for the Bucks center:

For no apparent reason, the crowd cheered loudly whenever the Stanford product came into the screen. Eventually, Gregg Popovich gave in to their demands and put him into the game:

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If you think Popovich knew what the crowd specifically wanted to do with Lopez, his press conference after the scrimmage obviously tells you otherwise:

The crowd’s affection for Lopez seems to be a running joke started by a few cheeky Aussies, but Lopez and the rest of the players present seemed to have enjoyed the bit of interaction between fan and player.

Here’s hoping that we see more of the same when Team USA begins their campaign in China on August 31.