Twin big men Brook and Robin Lopez are well known as a little goofy, particularly for the overtly serious and tough mindset of the NBA. In this world, it's a little weird for a 7-footer to admit a love of "Sex and the City," or to willfully sport a Sideshow Bob haircut. On the other hand, that also makes them not terribly dissimilar from many NBA fans, especially those of us who toil in the blogosphere.
From a particular point of view, then, the Lopez twins are pretty endearing. And that's ultimately the takeaway from the subject of this post. This last Sunday, Scott Cacciola of The Wall Street Journal tagged along with Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez as he attended Comic Con at New York City's Javits Center. It's worth reading in full, but here's a sampling:
He's something of a celebrity in this world—but hardly the biggest. As Lopez wandered through the exhibits, Jim Lee and Dan DiDio, co-publishers of DC Comics, spotted him and waved him over to join them in their private, roped-off suite. Lopez got to know the two industry giants at a convention in Phoenix, back when his twin brother and fellow comic-book aficionado, Robin, was playing for the Suns. After hugging Lee, Lopez whipped out his cellphone.
"I have to show you this," he said as he scrolled through several photos. "To organize all my comics, I've been making custom cabinets." [...]
At least one of his teammates on the newly minted Brooklyn team was jealous. Carleton Scott, a forward, said he was upset that Lopez didn't invite him to come along. Like Lopez, Scott is a huge comic-book fan. "We have a lot of closet nerds on this team," Scott said. [...]
About a dozen Comic Con devotees who were waiting on a line craned their necks to gawk at this sudden intruder. "Who is he?" asked Catwoman, aka Brittany Holzherr, a 22-year-old NYU graduate. According to an unscientific survey, roughly 5% of Comic Con's attendees recognized Lopez. ("Oh, s---! That's Brook Lopez!") The other 95% remarked on his height. Those who did know who he was had the unsettling habit of reaching out to grab at one of his elbows.
What comes across most is that Lopez has true passion for comics. Cacciola mentions that Lopez also has plans to create his own work — something he mentioned to me when I interviewed him roughly five years ago, as well — and he also genuinely geeks out over getting to meet some of his favorite artists.
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At the same time, Lopez remains the goofy guy we know him to be. It's also very Lopez-ish not to consider that a teammate might want to join him — because it's absent-minded, not because he did so with malice. Altogether, he comes across as a likable guy.
On the other hand, I'm not sure that means the other attendees should have tried to touch his elbows. That's just weird.