Where do seven-foot twins with a combined annual salary around $21 million eat at 2:30 in the morning?
After the Portland Trail Blazers flew into New York Sunday night to take on the Brooklyn Nets the next day, Trail Blazers center Robin & Nets center Brook Lopez got together for some brotherly time, including a late-night trip to — where else? — McDonald’s.
Brook drove and paid, he said, and the two had very specific orders. “He got a large fries, Big Mac, no pickles, always no pickles, and he always says no onions, even though Big Macs don’t have onions,” Brook said. “And a cheeseburger, same thing. And I got two Filet-O-Fish.”
Maybe McDonald’s should market their fish as a performance-enhancing product. In the next night’s game, Brook thoroughly dominated his twin brother, putting up 32 points (15-25 FG), nine rebounds, and a block, while twin brother Robin only finished with eight points (4-11 FG), seven rebounds, and two blocks, as the Nets won 106-96 in Brooklyn. The Lopez twins did not acknowledge each other all game, as is their custom. “We don’t say a word to each other on the court,” Brook noted.
Before the game, Robin joked (we think) that Brook was nothing more than a “crappy center” in response to him winning back-to-back Eastern Conference Player of the Week Awards, later making fun of Brook’s hair. Brook, who didn’t hear about the comments until after the game, laughed them off.
“No one made fun of his hair?” Brook joked. “And his dumb beard, too?”
It’s no secret in Brooklyn that Brook has looked quicker and more confident with each passing game. After scoring 30 or more points just once this season in 56 games before March 20th, he’s surpassed that mark six times in 11 games. His best move came in a scoring-packed third quarter, spinning around his twin brother and dropping in a reverse layup. He’s also continued to find success in the pick-and-roll with Deron Williams, who connected with Lopez on eight of his 10 assists.
“(Deron) keeps telling me to get in the pocket, get in the pocket as much as possible,” Lopez said, referring to the space created between two defenders in the pick-and-roll. “It’s brought us a lot of success. We’ve had stretches in the past where we’ve played well together in the pick-and-roll and we know how to play with each other. But unfortunately it’s just been very limited these past few years.”
Brook’s biggest defensive highlight also came at Robin’s expense. Robin received an open pass in the lane and rose for what looked like a clean one-handed finish. But Brook swatted him from behind, catching his hand and the ball, and the ball bounced away as Robin pleaded his case for a foul. “When I saw him go for that dunk, I knew I had to hack him a little bit,” Brook said.
Brook said the block, as well as his general performance, was in honor of fallen Nets mascots. Robin has waged an all-out war on NBA mascots this season “I was just trying to protect our guys, even though they’re not here,” Brook said, “the BrooklyKnight, Sly, and Mini-Sly. I miss those guys. Where are Sly and Mini-Sly? I wouldn’t mind having them back around. I had to protect my guys. This is our home court. So that was for them.”