Seven feet tall and over 120kg, Los Angeles Lakers’ Brook Lopez is an imposing figure. Well, now imagine there are two such specimens in the same family.
Brook and his twin brother Robin have been part of the America’s professional basketball circuit since 2008. In that year, the brothers became only the second pair of twins to have ever played for Stanford University. They were soon picked up in the draft. While Brook was picked by the New Jersey Nets, his brother ended up with Phoenix Suns.
It’s been ten years since they first got their start in the NBA. He was with the New Jersey outfit for nine years, before moving to the Lakers last year. His brother plies his trade with the Chicago Bulls. In the course of these ten years, both players have achieved quite a lot of plaudits for their performances on the court. Brook would go onto become a part of the 2013 NBA All-star team. It was a culmination of years of hard work finally coming to fruition.
Last Saturday, the 30-year-old was in Mumbai as part of an initiative by the NBA. He spoke about his experiences as a basketball star and reflected on his decade-long experience in the NBA.
“I can’t believe it has been ten years. It doesn’t feel like that. I still feel like a rookie, like all those young players who have just started,” Brook said.
“My twin brother and I played together,” recalled Brook. “Our older brother used to play ball. We were in the gym together all the time. We used to live there literally. We started playing when we were first or second graders,” said Lopez.
The duo has influenced each other’s game till date. “I mean we compete against each other day in and day out, even if it was in our driveway or at school. We are always playing with or against each other and making each other better,” said Lopez.
From the driveway of their home to the Staples Centre or even the United Centre, the Lopez brothers have come a long way.
While Brook averages 17.9 in every game, his brother Robin averages 9 and plays more of a defensive role. The duo has played 1328 games between them.
“It has been a dream to play in the NBA. To play with guys like Kevin Gartnett and Vince Carter, you can keep going down the list,” said Brook.
Lopez is in India as part of NBA’s junior program, which is an initiative through which he hopes there are players from India could make the big leap like he and his brother did a decade ago.
For the sport to prosper in India, Brook spoke about his country’s newfound love for football through Major League Soccer and felt a similar professional basketball league would help in honing the skills of Indian hoopsters further.
“Soccer is increasing in popularity in America obviously and has been for a while. Interest in the MLS has been increasing a lot every time the Fifa World Cup comes around. Great interest is being generated in the local league and it keeps growing,” he said. “I think it will be great to see that kind of growth in basketball. So perhaps a professional league in India is needed. For me it gives an opportunity for the players to move on to the national team and one day hopefully gain a place in the NBA,” said Lopez.