Brook Lopez knows it’s not up to him — but if it was, things would be different.
“Yeah, I feel I definitely would’ve (played),” the Brooklyn Nets All-Star center said following Tuesday’s practice, one he participated fully in. “But they felt it was better for me not to, so I have to respect that decision.”
Lopez was referring to the training staff, who saw him test out his sprained right ankle during Monday’s shootaround before the team’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers and elected to go the conservative route, keeping Lopez out of the game. He’d told reporters after the shootaround that he would most likely play in Monday’s game.
“It felt good to me,” Lopez added. “I guess it didn’t look right to the people that make the calls.”
The team will not have a shootaround before Wednesday night’s game against the Washington Wizards, so the team will have to give him a look shortly before the game. But in his mind, if he was ready to play then, he’ll be ready to play barring setbacks.
“In my mind I feel confident I’ll be playing tomorrow, but then again, how’d that work out last time?” Lopez joked. “You guys can believe me, though, I promise.”
Lopez’s impact on both ends of the floor is undeniable; Lopez leads the team with 20.5 points per game, shooing 56.8 percent from the field, and he’s blossomed into one of the league’s best rim protectors. But the Nets didn’t miss him much Monday night, winning a 130-94 laugher over the 76ers that saw Joe Johnson tie an all-time record with eight three-pointers in the third quarter.
“Yeah, he was all right. I think he missed once yesterday, so it wasn’t that great,” Lopez joked, before adding “if I had to pick one game this season to sit out and watch, that was the one.”