LAS VEGAS - Robin Lopez wasn't the Knicks' No. 1 choice in free agency or in their top three. But Lopez said "egotism" is not one of his faults.
The Knicks' fallback option at center's strengths are he plays with energy and hustle, and fills a major area of need. Coach Derek Fisher called Lopez a "nasty competitor" and "one of the best" defensive anchors.
Lopez looks forward to proving that.
"I'm very excited about that," Lopez said Friday. "I think there's a little pressure. I think that's natural, you just get a natural reaction out of that. I think really I've always had the same focus, to go out there and I like to facilitate and help my teammates in any way I can, go out there and work hard and I think things will turn out right."
The Knicks' first target was Greg Monroe, who chose Milwaukee. They were supposed to meet with LaMarcus Aldridge but that sitdown was canceled. Lopez, who averaged 9.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.4 blocks for the Blazers last season, ultimately agreed to a four-year, $54-million contract that was contingent upon DeAndre Jordan turning down the Knicks.
"I was OK with that," Lopez said. "Whenever I'm on the court, whenever I'm between those lines, I'm as competitive as anybody else. I want to be the best player I can be on the court. I've done a good job helping my teammates being a good complementary player. So egotism is not one of my faults. I would hope that would not be the case."
Lopez said having his twin brother Brook playing for the Nets factored into his decision to sign with the Knicks.
"That was an intriguing prospect," Lopez said. "Obviously there's already a rivalry in place. I think this will spice it up a little bit. I have a brother who's out there living with him and I can see him a little more often. I don't care about seeing Brook. Make it easier on Mom. She doesn't have to do quite as much traveling."
Brook said that Robin could live under his staircase the way Harry Potter did.
"I think obviously he's trying to hinder or suppress whatever mystical abilities I may have," Robin responded. "He can't understand them and I don't blame him for that."