Brooklyn Nets: The last reminders of a past life

Brooklyn Nets Gerald Green. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Gerald Green. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Broioklyn Nets, New Jersey Nets
Brooklyn Nets Brook Lopez (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks

Brook Lopez was the last New Jersey Net to leave the team. On this list, he also had the longest tenure. He was first-team All Rookie and an All-Star. He is first in team history in blocks, field goals and points.

He has a booblehead as Chewbacca. The man had an incredible time with the Nets.

The New Jersey Nets chose him with the 10th pick in the 2008 NBA Draft out of Stanford. Almost immediately he impressed Nets fans and crowds around the league, averaging 13 points and eight rebounds in his first year.

He continued to get better, improving his scoring and overall game the next two years.

It was all derailed after a serious foot injury cost him all but five games in 2011-12. He returned the next year to an All-Star bid and a new city, making it to the playoffs for the first time in his career. The following year he was knocked down again for the season after a foot injury.

Brooklyn Nets, New Jersey Nets
Brooklyn Nets Brook Lopez. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2011 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The rebuild after the Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce experiment opened the way for Lopez to become the focal point of the team once again.

He played an average of 73 games his last three seasons with the Nets and got back into All-Star shape before getting traded to the Lakers with a pick that became Kyle Kuzma for D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov.

He signed with Milwaukee early last offseason.

We can talk about all his stats and all the countless ways he had impacted the Nets franchise. But what is more interesting that the 7-footer has become a deadly 3-point shooter. He spent most of his first five years in the league in the post.

At most, he would shoot 19 footers and his patented push shot.

Now he is tied for ninth in the NBA with 47 made 3s and is 15th in attempts with 115. Against the Nuggets, this season, “Splash Mountain, (unbelievably great nickname), made eight 3s. He had only taken 31 3-pointers in his first eight years combined.

Many credit Kenny Atkinson’s dedication to working with Lopez during their one year together for unlocking the Lopez cheat code. And all the work has paid off. He is averaging 12.3 points in Mike Budenholzer’s dynamic offense.

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And with Giannis Antetokounmpo at the helm the Bucks not only have the best record in the Eastern Conference early in the season, they have a team that looks like it has the chance of taking over the mantle of the East’s team to beat.