The NBA has several sets of brothers hooping in the league – from the Gasols, to the Morris twins, to the Plumlees, to the Holidays, to the Millsaps, to the Currys.
None, though, are more goofy or amusing than Brook and Robin Lopez.
Since dominating for Stanford University from 2006 to 2008, the Lopez twins haven’t shared the same area code. That is, until now.
Brook, an NBA All-Star, is a max-deal superstar center for the Brooklyn Nets. Robin, an NBA globetrotter, had stints with the Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Hornets and Portland Trail Blazers, but this summer he signed a deal with the New York Knicks.
This season, for the first time in a long time, the sibling rivalry elevates to another level. Potential roommates? Perhaps. But regardless, with these two in town, New York is going to be wild.
Former Stanford guard Anthony Goods, a 6’3 overseas marksman signed with Cholet, a top division club located on the Western side of France, was college teammates with the Lopez twins.
Goods, a D-League graduate with passport stamps from Italy, Ukraine, Israel, Germany and France, spoke with Basketball Insiders and shared some never-before-told, hilarious anecdotes about the Lopez twins.
“What people don’t know about the Lopez twins, honestly, they’re little kids in seven-foot bodies,” Goods told Basketball Insiders. “In college, Brook and Robin were really into cartoons and superheroes. Each player on our team had his own superhero nickname; mine was the ‘Black Panther.’
“Brook and Robin loved cartoons, comic books, Britney Spears and Michael Jackson. I remember, we had a serious game against UCLA, and when I came back to the locker room before our warmup, both of them were huddling around a laptop, giggling like girls watching old Simpson cartoons. I was like, ‘Yo, we got a game, bro. It’s a big one.'”
The Lopez twins might be goofs off the floor, but when the two behemoths hit the hardwood, it’s all business.
Brook averaged 17.4 points and 7.5 rebounds through 78 showings for the Nets while shooting 51.5 percent from the field last season.
Robin, who moved from the Blazers to the Knicks, registered 9.3 points and 6.5 boards on 53.9 percent from the floor over 64 appearances last season.
“That’s one thing about them, though: once it’s jump-ball, it’s like the switch flips and Brook and Robin turn into grown men, like animals,” Goods said. “But off the floor, these dudes are kids. They’ll go back and forth cursing each other out. ‘You’re stupid. No, you’re stupid.’ Stuff like that.”
Goods said that he loved being around the Lopez twins in college. But Trent Johnson, current head coach of the TCU Horned Frogs, who coached at Stanford from 2004 to 2008 – unlike his troops – had little tolerance for the Lopez twins.
“Brook’s nickname was ‘a**hole,'” Goods told Basketball Insiders. “Trent once kicked Brook out of practice, and said: ‘Hey a**hole, get the f*** out of my gym.’ Then Robin turned and said, ‘Don’t talk to my brother like that.’ Trent went off, he was like, ‘Get the f*** out too’, and kicked them both out.”
This Stanford team was loaded with talent. Excluding Goods and the Lopez twins, Stanford featured Toronto Raptors swingman Landry Fields and overseas journeyman forward Lawrence Hill, who played in Mexico, Korea, Israel, Germany and France.
According to Goods, the personnel makeup on that squad, along with Trent Johnson at the helm, was a ticking time bomb.
“That team, man – with Trent, Brook, Robin, Lawrence and Landry – was like a different movie,” Goods said. “You had the twins; Landry was scared of Trent; and Lawrence was building computers, growing ant farms and had pet rats. It was crazy.”
In March of 2008, Brook dropped 30 points and a game-winning baseline hook-floater against Marquette in the NCAA’s South Regional. Johnson, a Pac-10 Coach of the Year, was ejected before halftime. It was huge moment for Brook, and a dramatic win for Stanford. The aftermath, though, was priceless.
“We played Marquette in Sweet 16, Trent got kicked out of that game, broke a TV in the locker room. We hit the game-winner, it was dope. Everyone was excited,” Goods, who recorded seven points and five boards, recalled with a smile that lit up his face.
After beating Marquette, Stanford was rewarded with some free time in L.A. and each player received about $90 per diem. The next morning while on the bus, Robin approached Brook asking to borrow $20. “What for?” said Brook, “We just got paid.” Robin replied, “I know, but I spent $81 at the comic book store.”
Said Goods: “College kids look to NBA players as role models, that’s the reason we see Gucci belts and Louis Vuitton on campus. Kids also waste money on Jordan sneakers. But the Lopez twins didn’t spend it like that; they were buying comic books.”
This last nugget is insane. Goods had to catch his breath while telling the story. It was the Lopez’s last season at Stanford while the team was on the road just before given a day off.
“So we’re all in the gym before practice, but neither of the twins show up. Trent sends managers to all the doors and said, ‘If the twins come, don’t let them in.’ But the twins never showed up,” Goods said.
That night, Johnson called for a team meeting, informing his players that “the twins aren’t going to be with us for a while.”
“That was it,” Goods said. “Trent was the type that scared us all. We were in fear of him. If Trent Johnson said something, you just let it go, no questions asked.”
But all of the sudden, “Lawrence raises his hand and he’s like, ‘Um, Coach, what did the twins do?'”
“The twins,” Johnson said, “went to Disneyland.”
Goods broke out laughing. Again.
“We’re all like what the…,” Goods said. “The funniest thing about it was we had a day off the next day. Brook and Robin could’ve went then, but they wanted to go on a field trip with their dorm, so they missed practice to go to Disneyland.”
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