While the Nets often look more like a marketing experiment than a basketball team, the best player on a squad relentlessly promoted to appear “cool” and “hip” is a gangly, seven-foot-tall comic book nerd. Brook Lopez has the best offensive skill set of any center in the league, and the success of the Nets depends on their ability to work through him. In less elegant words: They need to give him the ball. The team’s established all-stars will have to take a back seat to Lopez if the Nets hope to do more than sell hats and T-shirts. The goofy Stanford kid with the silky shooting stroke and nifty footwork has to realize the onus is now on him, no matter whose image is emblazoned on the giant banners hanging outside the Barclays Center.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 16, 2013