So, you know all about how much Robin Lopez and his brother Brook Lopez love comic books, right? If you didn't, they do; weirdly, it was one of the first non-basketball things that national audiences learned about them, after it was mentioned in the third paragraph of a Sports Illustrated feature on the 7-foot twin towers and in the sixth paragraph of an ESPN The Magazine feature written back in 2008, when the 7-foot twin towers were sophomores at Stanford.
When the brothers split upon entering the NBA, Robin established his solo comic-bro credentials by carrying then-teammate Alando Tucker through this review of the film adaptation of "Watchmen," appearing at Phoenix Comic-Con and giving a wonderfully detailed answer to a comic-related question during a 2010 live chat with Suns blog Bright Side of the Sun. He knows his Marvelman from his Miracleman, and wobetide those who speak ill of Ego The Living Planet around him (or, for that matter, New York Knicks coach Mike Woodson, given their resemblance.)
The Phoenix Suns are clearly very aware of Robin's funny-book addiction. See, after extending a $4 million qualifying offer that made Lopez a restricted free agent a couple of weeks back, the team's been working to bring back its backup center on a multiyear deal. Part of their recruitment campaign — at least, according to this clip released through the Suns' YouTube channel — is a video that casts the center as a superhero who "holds the power to change or alter the outcome with his presence" and should come back to the city he's protected (kind of?) for the past four years. Behold:
If that "Every hero has an origin" intro sounded familiar to you, it might be because you remember the TV spot for "X-Men: First Class." If it didn't, congratulations on not remembering TV advertisements for comic book movies that came out last year; I envy your ability to commit brain space to other matters.
Lopez became a confirmed reserve once Marcin Gortat came over from the Orlando Magic and started looking like a 20-and-10 near-All-Star type — thanks, Steve Nash! — but he performed well enough in that role. He worked well on the offensive glass, blocked about 5 percent of opponents' 2-point attempts while on the floor and produced at a per-minute rate that was a touch above league average in his 64 appearances. He's no star, and he's a clear No. 2 at his position on the team, but he'd be a sound solution for backup minutes on short money, if he's willing to come back.
The Suns are very clearly in a rebuilding phase right now as they move from the Nash era to the ... um ... Michael Beasley and Kendall Marshall era, I guess? With so much in flux in Phoenix, being able to maintain some stability with players who can do their jobs at a reasonable price is about as much as the team can ask. To that end, Lopez might not be the hero Phoenix deserves, but he might just be the hero it needs right now.