Brook Lopez was named to the All-Star team yesterday, but last night, especially after halftime, "Nets" and "All-Star" seemed incongruous.
Lopez became the first "Brooklyn" Net selected for an All-Star game — and just the 13th in the team's 37-season, often tortured history. Lopez was picked by commissioner David Stern to replace injured Boston guard Rajon Rondo on the Eastern Conference team.
To celebrate the selection, Lopez scored 21 points in 32 minutes, but the celebratory fervor, though, sort of got lost with everybody else. The Nets, after being tied at halftime with the defending champs, came apart in a horrific, turnover-plagued third quarter and the Heat waltzed to a 105-85 rout.
"It's a huge honor and I can't thank my team enough," Lopez said. "Obviously I wouldn't be in this situation if we weren't successful. It's a team game. So it's all on them. They earned it for me."
Lopez leads the Nets with 18.6 points a game, tops among centers in the league. He also is averaging 7.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks for the Nets (27-19), who are tied with Indiana for the fourth-best record in the East. But they were swamped by the Heat, which dampened that All-Star glow.
"It's an honor, but it's not my focus right now," Lopez said. "We were very focused on the game tonight, and that was the main concern."
In their NBA history, the Nets have landed 13 all-stars, with three making multiple trips: Jason Kidd (five times), Buck Williams (three times) and Vince Carter (also three times).
* After not practicing Tuesday or participating in the morning shootaround because of flu-like symptoms, Deron Williams managed to fight through 34 minutes in last night's loss.
Brook Lopez picks up belated All-Star nod
New York Post | Jan 31