Being a lifelong Nets fan wasn’t really a choice for me. My dad was a Nets fan, so I watched Nets games growing up, and that’s how I learned the game.
Basically, Ian Eagle taught me everything I know. That’s not so bad, right?
As much as I watched New Jersey Nets games, my interest for the team itself really took off when the Brook Lopez era started in 2008.
During that time, I watched Brook make a name for himself as the guy that never missed a game. I watched the YES crew think of nicknames for Brook and him turning down each one (I still call him B-Lo).
Then, I watched him become the guy that missed over a season with a foot injury. I watched him get hurt again and solidify the “injury prone” stereotype.
For the last three years, I watched Brook be the best. He stayed away from injuries, upped his game and remained the character all Nets fans loved. If you told me he’d lead his team in three-pointers last season, I would’ve told you that you’re nuts. But you know what, he did.
He kept Nets fans on their toes. He became the Nets franchise’s No. 1 all-time scorer in the last game he started. He did all of this:
We'll miss you, Brook! Thanks for being the foundation of this franchise for nearly a decade. pic.twitter.com/NNCLLNoCJo
— The Brooklyn Game (@TheBKGame) June 21, 2017
Coaches came and left, but Brook stayed, and didn’t complain once. He just talked about how he loved being a Net.
Brook is just a unique guy, and that’s what I’ll miss most. A Warriors fan may consider themselves the luckiest because their team is the NBA champs.
But Brook is a character, a guy who loves comics, Star Wars, Disney and smiles, and him being on my favorite team was what made me a winner for the past nine years, through the 12-win season and all.
Wow, nine years. Eight seasons, but nine full years since being drafted. I watched Brook go from the rookie who had a hard time with interviews to being the team vet, the leader, the guy that never gave up on the team that gave him a home (two homes, really).
Brook was a Net for nearly half of my life. No matter how things changed, he was something I knew. Rumors to trade him over the years kept me up at night numerous times, worrying I wouldn’t see him wear a Net uniform again. He’s just a guy you want on your side.
Brook was familiar, reliant. He was a Wookie, a twin. He was a man who battled mascots. He was a lover of Sly and Mini Sly. He was a guy that wore New Jersey Nets sweatpants to locker cleanout this year. He was Brook. I’ll love him forever for that.
If Brook gets a ring, that’ll be a landmark moment. Seeing him in a different jersey will be tough, but he’s going to dominate elsewhere.
Get that ring, B-Lo. Nets fans will be cheering you on.