Brook Lopez, twin spread basketball to Russia

There’s no denying the global reach of the NBA & the Brooklyn Nets. After Nets CEO Brett Yormark returned from a business trip to China last week, the team announced a preseason schedule including two games in Shanghai. Forward Andrei Kirilenko and coach Lionel Hollins are spreading health & wellness with Basketball Without Borders in Africa, and Kirilenko fell in love with a cheetah.

Now, it looks like the man in the middle has made his way to Russia, the home country of Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, and met his twin in Moscow. Via Oregon Live:

The twins attended a streetball tournament in Moscow on Thursday, and will head to Perm, located on the European side of Russia on the Kama River, where they will hold a clinic Saturday.

The clinic will be held at the Olympiets club court, which was refurbished as part of a partnership with the NBA and Sibur, a Russian gas processing and petrochemical company. They are refurbishing 10 courts around the country “to grow the game of basketball in Russia by providing safe and accessible basketball facilities.”

Lopez has not played in an NBA game since December 20th, when he broke a bone in his right foot in the fourth quarter of an overtime loss. He has since had two surgeries, one to repair & realign his right foot, and another to clean out his left ankle.

Lopez’s twin brother Robin, who plays for the Portland Trail Blazers, blogged about the experience:

We went straight from the airport to the hotel, which is right across from the Kremlin and Red Square. You can almost see St. Basil’s Cathedral, one of the most iconic European landmarks, from my hotel room. It’s just out of view, but it’s there.

We had the rest of the day off, so we took a quick stroll into Red Square, which was everything I was expecting and nothing I was expecting. It was interesting. The architecture is definitely an East meets West feel, a hodgepodge of cultures. There’s Nordic influences, some Italian, some Indian, some Turkish. It’s such a mix of cultures. For the most part, as an American, my view of Russia mostly shaped through spy movies and superhero comic books, along with a few history classes I’ve taken. So it’s nice to see the real Russia, not the vilified version you see in fiction. And despite some frosty relations between the United States and Russia, I haven’t noticed any animosity at all. People have been very friendly and welcoming right from the start. Nothing standoffish or anything of the sort.