Before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers last summer, Brook Lopez had spent the entirety of his career with the Brooklyn Nets. They drafted the seven-footer when they were still based in New Jersey in 2008.
While Lopez’s time with the franchise didn’t go as well as both sides surely hoped, especially given their super-team ambitions in 2013 when they traded for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, the Stanford product who they selected 10th overall still had plenty of success with the franchise.
Lopez finished as the team’s leader in both points (10,444) and blocks (972). The Lakers’ 102-99 win over the Nets on Friday night also doubled as Lopez’s first game at Barclays Center since the trade.
And Brooklyn welcomed him back with a classy tribute video, set to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” between the first and second quarters, via the Nets’ Twitter account:
It was a thrill from day one
Thank you for everything, Brook pic.twitter.com/flTfRE3FB2
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) February 3, 2018
Lopez, who finished with 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting and three blocks in his first game back in Brooklyn, called the tribute video “fantastic” and said it made him emotional. The Nets showed Lopez’s reaction on the jumbotron following the video during the same timeout.
The Nets franchise obviously doesn’t have the same historical significance and cache of the Lakers, but Lopez is inarguably a top-five player in the team’s history, and Brooklyn made a classy gesture by honoring him during the game.