Loyalty is one of the finest qualities a person can have, but in professional sports, it happens to be one of the rarest. Unless your name is Brook Lopez.
The lovable and talented center has been loyal to the Nets from the moment they drafted him back in 2008. On Monday night against the Boston Celtics, that loyalty finally paid off. Lopez passed Buck Williams and became the all-time leading scorer in franchise history with 10,444 career points.
Lopez entered the game needing 23 points to pass Williams. In the fourth quarter, he hit a turnaround jumper over Al Horford from the left baseline and permanently etched his name into Brooklyn lore. He finished with 25 points and even though Brooklyn lost, he will forever remember this night.
“It’s a great honor, I’ll be honest with you,’’ said Lopez, who received the game ball afterwards. “I’m just proud to have my name up there with those guys.”
Lopez has been with the Nets for nine seasons. He has played with 109 teammates, for nine head coaches, in three different arenas and two different states. All while surviving countless trade rumors. Throughout all he’s endured both on and off the court, Lopez has said all along that he loves being a Net. Many other players in the same situation would have bolted a long time ago, but Lopez has kept chugging along. That’s a huge testament to who he is as both a basketball player and a person. He deserves this honor, and we could very well see his No. 11 jersey hanging from the rafters of Barclays Center one day.
The Nets (20-61) wrap up their regular season on Wednesday night against the Chicago Bulls.