Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez earned significant praise after his career season last year, including his first All-Star appearance. One of his fans: his new teammate in the frontcourt, Kevin Garnett.
“I’ve never played with a center whose skill level is at this point,” Garnett said flatly Tuesday at Nets training camp.
That’s high praise from Garnett, even though Garnett hasn’t really played with any high-skill centers. Kendrick Perkins, known mostly for his defense and for a jump shot that looks like this, is the top choice. Frankly, the best center Kevin Garnett ever played with was Kevin Garnett.
“I’ve obviously played with greats,” Garnett said, presumably talking about himself, because again, Kendrick Perkins, “but to the point where he’s young and still hasn’t peaked yet, the sky’s the limit for Brook.”
Garnett takes his role as a leader seriously at every stop, and that hasn’t changed with his impact on Lopez. The team looks at Garnett as an emotional, vocal leader both off and on the court, whether it’s teaching Lopez the nuance of defensive footwork or keeping players in line during practice drills.
But Garnett doesn’t think Lopez needs much more seasoning. “Brook is already good,” Garnett said of the big(ger) man on media day. “Whatever I can add on to or whatever he needs from me, I wanna try to make myself available as much as possible, and that goes for anybody on this team.”
Opening day is 28 days away. I can’t wait.