We were happily strolling around MOA last weekend looking for long-weekend bargains when we saw a huge guy chucking three-pointers, most of which were clanking off the rim. Apparently, there was a three-point contest, and the big guy turned out to be none other than the Brooklyn Nets' star center, Brook Lopez. Why was he there? The NBA along with Sprite was holding its second annual NBA 3X event, where local ballers were invited to compete in a 3-on-3 tournament, among other hoops contests.
Also in the event were booths where basketball-crazy people (or basically everyone) gets to compare their hand size with other NBA players like Josh Smith and Rajon Rondo. There were also merch stalls displaying NBA goodies. Of course, the biggest NBA goodie of 'em all was Brook. We caught up with the Nets giant, and asked him questions. Basketball questions.
Are you planning to add the three-point shot to your arsenal? How many three-pointers do you plan to make this season?
I hope so! I’d like to! Ha ha! As for the number of three-pointers? Nah, I can’t put a number on that, come on, man. Ha ha!
Last season you were shut down due to injuries. How do you get back to playing elite-level basketball?
I’ve just been trying to keep in shape, you know, keep my body well-conditioned so I can sustain [playing] the entire season. I’m very far along the recovery process, and I’m feeling really good. I’m always working out. I’m not a perfect player so I’m always working on every aspect of my game to get better. Team-wise, I think we’re going to be very good this season.
How will your Core Four (Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, and Brook) compete against the Heat's Big Three and the Lakers' newly-formed superteam?
I think we definitely made the right moves, the best moves for our team. Joe’s a spectacular player, you know he’s going to fit in and play very well alongside Deron. Gerald’s been a fantastic pick-up for us. He does all of the little things. He rebounds, defends, scores. He brings a lot to the table. And Deron, well, he’s just unbelievable. He just makes everything so much easier.
What do you think are your chances of finally making the Playoffs?
Extremely high. That’s definitely a goal of ours. It’s a very exciting prospect. I can’t wait for opening night.
Who do you look forward to playing against?
Oh, all the best. I always enjoy a good challenge. Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, those guys. They’re a lot of fun to play against.
But who's the toughest?
My brother, Robin Lopez.
Do you have any specific strategy when dealing with hyper-aggressive perimeter players?
The old basketball adage stands: Make it tough for them, and contest every shot.
Moving from New Jersey to Brooklyn, how has that worked out for the team?
It’s been very exciting. The move to Brooklyn has brought a lot of energy. I think the people there are very excited for opening night. Brooklyn hasn’t had a professional sports franchise since the Brooklyn Dodgers left in 1959. I think the people there will be happy to have us.
What can you say about the Filipinos you've seen in this hoops event?
It’s been spectacular. Everyone here loves basketball. They’ve all been very supportive and fantastic this weekend. I’m not really surprised though; I have a lot of Filipino friends back home who love basketball. To come out and see it in person is just amazing. The energy level has been really remarkable.
And your advice to aspiring Filipino NBA players?
Just to compete. You gotta play the best, to be the best.
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