Brook Lopez
Who is new Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez?
Brook Lopez

Who is new Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez?

Published Jul. 18, 2018 8:04 p.m. ET

Brook Lopez is bringing his inside presence -- and a cat named Poupin -- to the Milwaukee Bucks.

With 10 NBA seasons under his belt, Lopez has proved to be a legitimate scorer in the post, as well as an entertaining interview and a lover of creativity, Disney and cats.

Selected 10th overall by New Jersey in 2008, Brook beat out his twin brother Robin, who was taken five picks later at No. 15 by Phoenix. Ten years later, Brook has had the better NBA career with averages of 17.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game -- compared to Robin’s line of 9.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.

Both players starred for two seasons at Stanford, leading the Cardinal to a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2008. Marquette fans will remember Brook’s last-second shot that knocked the Golden Eagles out of the tourney in the second round that season, as Stanford snuck out an 82-81 victory.

The brothers have been separated for most of their professional careers, minus in 2015-16 when Brook was in Brooklyn and Robin signed with the New York Knicks. Despite living in close quarters, the two brothers didn’t live with each other -- something Robin blamed on cats. The twins told the New York Post at the time that Poupin (Brook’s cat) and Robin’s cat, Prince Edward Zephyr, “really wouldn’t get along. They just wouldn’t allow it.”

More on the cat: Poupin -- which is French for “chubby” -- seems to live a pretty charmed life. Poupin escaped in style after a wildfire menaced Lopez's Southern California home last year. Lopez hired a car, not just for himself, but for the cat.

Per the Los Angeles Times: "With the Skirball fire threatening Lopez's Bel Air Crest neighborhood, Lopez didn't want to risk leaving his cat at home. So he rode with Poupin, who traveled inside a carrier, to the Lakers facility. Then he sent the car service on to Fresno, where his mother waited to collect Poupin."

The two even have separate Instagram accounts: "brookiethewookie11" for Lopez and "poupinstagram" for the cat, although Poupin's hasn't been active since 2014.

That Star Wars reference is very deliberate. Lopez is a huge fan, and once told he keeps a custom orange lightsaber next to his bed.

"Orange is my favorite color. I like [Wookiee Jedi] Lowbacca, and his blade is orange, as well. I’ve always wanted to be a Wookiee. I relate to them a lot. So we have a connection there."

If you've seen all 11 movies (or even all 200-odd episodes of the various television shows) and still don't get the reference, well, that's because Lopez appears to be a particularly devoted Star Wars fan. Lowbacca appears exclusively in a handful of novels and comic books set in the Star Wars universe, but has never crossed over into the franchise's film or television properties.

This is by no means an isolated interest.

Lopez is a regular at various comic-book conventions, where he was once spotted regaling DC Comics publisher Jim Lee with photos of his custom comic-book storage cabinets.

The Wall Street Journal tagged along as Lopez hung out at New York Comic-Con in 2012: "He slowly made the rounds, stopping to chat with artists he's befriended in recent years. A constant topic of conversation: Lopez's storage-cabinet project, which is quite involved. For each alphabetized drawer, Lopez is commissioning an artist to draw a comic-book character whose name starts with that letter. Lopez has lost track of how many comics he owns. 'Thousands," he said, 'at least.' He visited with Jim Calafiore, who had already contributed to the project with a drawing of Aquaman."

Indeed, much has been made over the years of Lopez's status as both jock and nerd: He studied creative writing at Stanford, plays the saxophone and aspires to work on comics of his own one day.

Fortunately, Lopez's new home should be able to accommodate his interests: Milwaukee Mighty Con is Sept. 22 at the Wisconsin Fair Grounds.

Other notable facts:

-- Lopez is taking quite the pay cut to play for the Bucks. He made around $20 million in each of the last three seasons and will make $3,382,000 in 2018-19 with Milwaukee. -- Growing up, Lopez did not have a television set. Former NBA player Quincy Pondexter knew the Lopez twins and said the boys were "always reading or drawing."

-- Lopez apparently watches TV as an adult. Beyond Star Wars, he's a big fan of Disney and last season, after a recent hot steak, teammate Lonzo Ball commented, "He's been watching Disney Channel all the time, maybe his favorite shows have been coming on."

-- He moved to Orlando last offseason and has become a fan of the Orlando City SC of MLS.

-- On the basketball side of things, after attempting just 31 3s in his first eight seasons (and only making three, and not until 2014-15 did he make one, when he was 1 for 10), Lopez has made 246 of 712 over the last two seasons with the Nets and Lakers. It was at the urging of Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson that Lopez took his game outside.

-- He's played in 13 playoff games: seven in 2012-13 and six in 2014-15, averaging 21.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game.


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