The Brooklyn Nets re-introduced Brook Lopez this morning at a press conference at the New York Marriott at Brooklyn Bridge, a day after the team announced it had re-signed Kris Humphries.
With Gerald Wallace already on board, Nets management focused on bringing back Lopez and Humphries to solidify the team’s starting frontcourt.
Lopez believes that he and Humphries can develop into a formidable duo.
“My strengths complement Humps strengths,” Lopez said. “He is a tenacious rebounder, goes after every loose ball, he’s a great defender. We can build a nice little frontcourt together.”
Lopez, who played in only five games last season because of a broken right foot, said he wasn’t focused on the barrage of trade rumors that would have sent him to Orlando as part of a package for Dwight Howard. Instead, he focused on getting back to full strength.
“For the most part I’ve been working on getting healthy,” Lopez said. “I want to be there for my team, that’s my main goal.”
“I don’t really read a lot of the stuff you guys write,” Lopez joked after being asked if the trade rumors bothered him. “I keep to myself mostly, read a lot of books and comics books, and they don’t mention Dwight Howard too much.”
Head Coach Avery Johnson always believed Lopez would return, even bestowing the center with a special nickname.
“I’ve been calling Brook ‘Brooklyn,’ that’s been his nickname,” Johnson said. “It would look really bad for me calling him ‘Brooklyn’ for a year and he never went to Brooklyn.”
The Nets continue to be one of the most active teams this offseason, as management tries to find the right pieces to round out the roster. The team also signed veteran shooting guard Jerry Stackhouse on Monday and point guard C.J. Watson on Saturday, who will back up Deron Williams.
“He was the number one guy on our board,” Johnson said referring to Watson, who was released by Chicago last week. “We thought he did a really nice job filling in for Derrick Rose last year and coming off the bench.”
The team will probably make a few more tweaks before the start of training camp, including finding a big man to back up Lopez.
“We have Reggie Evans and Humphries who can fill in at the five,” Johnson said. ”But we would like to sign another veteran to give us some security at that position.”
Johnson admitted that he was excited about the upcoming season and that the team looked good on paper, but he was quick to reiterate that they still have a lot of work ahead of them.
“It’s our time now,” Johnson said. “Hopefully we can take the buzz and turn it into something really special.”