Brook Lopez cannot wait to fall on his face. He knows it will be awkward, testing the foot that was rebuilt in an ambitious surgery last month. With regard to his career, though, he is adamant that there will be no pratfalls. He fully expects to be back next season and to return to his All-Star form.
"There is no question in my mind. No question,'' the center said at halftime of Sunday night's Nets-Pelicans game during his first post-operation media conference. "There is no way I would give up.''
He is not concerned about the fact that he has had three procedures on his right foot, and the reality that other NBA big men have had their careers shortened because of similar histories. Lopez believes in the first metatarsal osteotomy and the surgeons who performed it on Jan. 4 -- Dr. James Nunley, Duke University Medical Center's department chair of orthopedic surgery, along with Dr. Martin O'Malley, the Nets' foot and ankle specialist.
"They're trying to put more pressure on the inside of my foot,'' he said. "Essentially, what they did was lower the arch. It will be interesting to learn to walk differently for the first time. I'm going to be falling on my face more than I do already.''
But that will mean progress for Lopez, who has been through really lean times with the Nets and was extremely excited to be a part of a star-filled roster. Barring a trade, he is looking forward to being a force for the Nets in the 2014-15 season and leaving his injury history behind.
"I don't think I could go on the court and play basketball and have that doubt in my mind. We've done everything that we can,'' he said. "It is up to me to do the right things in this rehab and get it back to where I won't have to worry about it again.''