Brooklyn Nets: The Nets’ All-Time Starting 5

MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 13: Vince Carter
MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 13: Vince Carter /
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Center – Brook Lopez

The Nets All-Time leading scorer, Brook Lopez, is the final player in the lineup. While Lopez may have only been an All-Star once in his nine seasons as a Net, his impact on the team cannot be denied. Lopez may not have had one standout season, but he also never had a terrible one either. Lopez did battle issues staying on the court from time to time, but managed to play at least 72 games in seven of his nine seasons with the team.

Also, Lopez was extremely consistent while with the team. He would average 18.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in his nine years with the team. He also averaged over 19 points per game in 6 of his nine seasons with the franchise. Not only is Lopez the Nets All-Time leader in scoring, but blocks as well.

Not only was Lopez’s impact on the court important, but off the court as well. Lopez was one of the few players to stick with the team through thick and thin. While others shied away from the challenge of sitting through a rebuild, Lopez was apart of two rebuilding eras in Nets history. His loyalty to the franchise cannot be praised enough. As well as his attitude and leadership which was always felt in the locker room. 

Last offseason the Nets decided to hire assistant coach Kenny Atkinson to fill their head coaching vacancy. Upon the hiring many felt Lopez might be on the way out of Brooklyn sooner rather than later. Many people around the league knew Kenny and his coaching style. Many knew Lopez may just not fit into Atkinson’s style and he may be better fit on another team. However, that wasn’t the case.

Lopez played and started in 75 games with the team last season. Not only that but he led the team in scoring and even showing his long range ability to shoot. Lopez would connect on 134 three-point shots last season. This coming after only making three total in his entire career up to that point.

Shooting 34% from the behind the arc and 47% in total, Lopez showed he was willing to change his game to remain important to the team. While it is becoming common for big men to shoot in today’s NBA, Lopez was arguably one of the better shooters among centers. Also, there is also still a number of big men who choose not to shoot, which says a lot. Lopez could have been among those players such as Andre Drummond and one of the players he was traded for Timofey Mozgov. Instead, he worked to evolve his game. He was able to adapt and survive in coach Atkinson’s system and the just the new NBA in general.

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Over the years we have seen Nets players stick to their roles and let other’s stick to theirs. However, Lopez was not one of those players. Lopez always looked to do what was needed to win. That’s a mentality you cannot teach. Lopez began passing and shooting more to help impact games toward the last couple of seasons in Brooklyn but he also never gave up another aspect of his game in the process.

Lopez was truly a special player for the Nets, and found a way to help the Nets build around him in an era where building around centers doesn’t often work anymore. A class act and a special player, Lopez represents what a player should be, and is one of the best players in Nets history. The best center in the Nets franchise and the team’s All-Time leading scorer, Lopez will always be remembered by Nets fans and definitely earned his spot on this list with his actions both on and off the court.