Q&A: Lopez takes in the Barclays Center
September, 21, 2012
By Jared Zwerling | ESPNNewYork.com
AP Photo/Bebeto MatthewsBrook Lopez can't wait to hear the roar of the crowd at the Barclays Center.With his team's multiple failed attempts at a blockbuster trade with the Magic in the rear-view mirror, Brook Lopez was the lone Net to attend Friday morning's Barclays Center ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Afterward, he spent some time looking out on to the court from the concourse with a little boy's smile. Not only will Lopez be opening an arena in a borough that hasn't had a professional sports team in 55 years, he's also the starting center for a competitive team -- and not just one that's rebuilding.
After taking in the festivities, Lopez, rockin' a wild Afro hairstyle, caught up with ESPNNewYork.com to talk about the new digs and season ahead.
Q: So what do you think?
Lopez: It's fantastic. I can't believe it. It's state of the art, top of the line. It's just so exciting to finally be here. I wish I was out there playing right now.
Q: What features stand out to you the most as you've walked around?
Lopez: For me personally, it's just when I walked on the court, imagining everyone in here, the sound as loud as can be, the energy, just everyone having a great time. I'm just so excited for opening night. I do think we'll have great energy here. I think the fans will come in and give us great support. I think they'll really enjoy the team this year.
Q: The style of the hardwood is different -- a triangular shape that almost looks like 3D roofs up close.
Lopez: It's unique. They tried to do a number of different things unique to this place, trying to make it stand out. We wanted it to be in a league of its own. I think it really is top of the line.
Q: Any favorite spots around the arena?
Lopez: Oh man. The first time I came here, they took me after to Bark Hot Dogs. I go there every time I come here now.
Q: So how are you feeling with the season approaching?
Lopez: I feel 100 percent. I'm not even thinking about my foot.
Q: How's pre-training camp going with the guys?
Lopez: It's great. I think pretty much everyone has been here for about two weeks now and we've had some very competitive 5-on-5 games, conditioning sessions, weights and stuff like that. We've had days where we've had 14, 15 guys playing, so it just makes it all very exciting.
Q: What are the keys to basically a brand new team coming together in training camp and during the season?
Lopez: I think that's why it was important that we got out as early as we did, so everyone could get used to each other. We have a lot of great basketball minds, so it hasn't been as difficult as it could be getting to learn to play with each other.
Q: Your thoughts on the Atlantic potentially being the best division in basketball.
Lopez: Yeah, I know right. It's been a while. It's very exciting. It's going to be a challenge every night.
Q: How was your offseason, by the way? What kinds of off-the-court things did you get into?
Lopez: It was great. I was in Belfast (Ireland) for a PeacePlayers International event and then I went to Manila (Philippines) for an NBA event as well. It was great, fantastic. They love their basketball out there. Then I got to go to Guangzhou in China for about three days. It was fun as well. It was my third time out there.
Q: Any comic stuff on the side? I know you're a big fan.
Lopez: Yeah, definitely. The most recent thing is I actually got to go to a Simpsons script reading. It was very cool to see all the voice actors do their parts and everything. Actually Marge and Lisa weren't there, and they were calling it over the phone. So it was very interesting to see all the actors doing their voices and then have Marge and Lisa doing their part over the phone.
Q: Would you ever want to do that?
Lopez: Oh, definitely. It would be fun. I'd enjoy it, no question.
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