NBA: Draft separates twins
By Dennis Waszak Jr.
NEW YORK ó After years of honing their basketball skills together, Brook and Robin Lopez are going their separate ways in the NBA.
The twin 7-footers who starred at Stanford the last two seasons were both first-round draft picks Thursday night, with Brook going 10th overall to New Jersey and Robin 15th to Phoenix. They were the first set of brothers to be selected in the opening round of the same draft.
iIt will be strange,î Brook said shortly after flipping a Nets cap on his head and shaking hands with commissioner David Stern. iI donít know when the last time was, but you know, you pretty much knew it was going to happen. So, Iíve been getting ready for that, and here it is.î
The brothers, sitting with family members to the side of the stage, embraced when Brookís name was announced.
iIt was great,î said Brook, who averaged 19 points and eight rebounds last season. iI was so happy to be up there. I was living a dream.î
Robin didnít have to wait long for his moment, but he had a tough time getting his Suns cap over his thick curls ó causing a few laughs from the crowd at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. After averaging 10 points and five rebounds last season and blocking 156 shots in two seasons, heíll give the Suns a backup for Shaquille OíNeal.
iThat will be a new experience,î Robin Lopez said. iI know Iíve called myself tough before, so I guess this will really put it to the test. And whatever doesnít kill me, will make me stronger, as Kanye West says.î
The Nets have some previous experience with having a twin from Stanford on their team. Jason Collins, who starred with the Cardinal with brother Jarron, played for New Jersey from 2001 until he was traded to Memphis in February.
The two sets of twins became friends when the Lopezesí older brother, Alex, played in the same Los Angeles summer league as the Collins brothers. The Lopez brothers followed them to Stanford ó and now to the NBA.
iWe pretty much stayed friends, and the relationship continued through college,î Brook said of his relationship with the Collins twins. iTo this day, they are just sort of mentoring me, and we stayed in contact the whole time.î
The Lopez brothers developed into first-rounders by practicing together in their driveway, on the playgrounds and the hardwood courts at Stanford. Itíll surely be different for the two now at the next level.
iI wonít have to rely on him, or I wonít be able to rely on him to do the dirty work and stuff like that,î Brook said, iso I can show off my game more.î
A TRUE HOMER: Derrick Rose got his wish when he was picked by his hometown Chicago Bulls with the first overall pick.
The point guard from the University of Memphis is loyal to the Windy City ó and to the part of town he grew up in. When he was asked if the Cubs, who have the best record in the National League at 49-30, will win the World Series and snap their 100-year drought, he smiled.
iIím from the South Side of Chicago,î Rose said, iso I have to say White Sox.î
Rose is scheduled to throw out the first pitch before the Cubs-White Sox game at U.S. Cellular Field today.
LONG WAIT: It took a while, but Darrell Arthur finally made it up on stage at the draft.
The Kansas forward, initially considered a mid-round pick, fell to the end of the first round when New Orleans took him 27th. Even commissioner David Stern clapped after he announced Arthurís name.
iI was waiting there anxiously, just nervous,î said Arthur, who averaged 12.8 points and 6.3 rebounds last season. iI didnít know when I was going to get picked up.î
There were reports that Arthur dropped because of a kidney condition that scared off some teams.
iI slipped a lot because they said I had a kidney problem,î Arthur said. iBut I did some blood work in Washington, and everything came out fine.î
LIKE MOTHER, LIKE SON: JaVale McGee of the University of Nevada made history when he was selected by Washington with the 18th pick. He became the first son of a former WNBA player to be drafted.
The 20-year-old sophomoreís mother, Pamela, played for the Los Angeles Sparks and Sacramento Monarchs from 1998-99.
Bobby Jackson’s mind is obviously on his current summer league going on in Salisbury, but he’ll take a break tonight... read more