EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brook Lopez held court after the Nets' practice Tuesday, willing to talk at length about a variety of different topics.
Just not basketball.
Lopez, the longest-tenured Net, has endured a lot of losing in his seven seasons with the club, and so maybe he just didn't see the point discussing the latest loss, the 103-96 setback to the Milwaukee Bucks on Monday. Nor did he want to analyze the reasons for the 0-4 start to the season. But if you wanted to talk about the cat his family had when he was a kid, he was willing to tell you everything.
"We had an old Chevy Astro van that my mom drove around when we were little," he began. "Alex [the oldest of Lopez's brothers] eventually got the Chevy Astro van when he was in college. I was in elementary school by then. He was driving back up to Santa Clara from our house. He had come back down for break or something like that. And he heard a meowing coming from the engine. 'That's weird.' "
After driving for a little while longer, Alex Lopez eventually pulled the car over, popped the hood and found the family cat, Midnight, sitting there, unharmed.
"I guess cats in the winter, they hop in the cars," Brook Lopez said. "You're supposed to check. I didn't know that."
Lopez, who leads the Nets in scoring (18.3 points per game) and rebounding (7.3) also was OK talking about comics ("DC's been disappointing us lately,"' he said), or the new Star Wars movie (he's not going to the premiere with his twin brother Robin because the Nets will be in Indiana when the movie comes out, and Robin and the Knicks will be in Philadelphia. "Ask Lionel [Hollins] if I can go. You enjoy that.")
Lopez admitted it's cool to have his brother living so close by, even if they haven't seen much of each other since the season started. They did get to go to Game 5 of the World Series together on Sunday night, when Robin finally answered his phone after Brook and their other brother Chris had been trying to reach him all day.
"My car was for 6:30; he answered like, 5:45,"' Lopez said. "[I said] 'You want to go to the World Series?' [He said) 'OK.' "
Lopez, of course, was a rookie on the Nets team that started the 2009-10 season with a league-record 18 straight losses and finished with a 12-70 record. He knows a lot about losing. And sometimes, he'd rather not talk about it.
Twice on Tuesday Lopez was asked if he was interested in answering any basketball questions.
"Nooo," he said.
Notes & quotes: Point guard Jarrett Jack sat out practice with a tight left hamstring. Jack missed the season opener because of the same injury, but Hollins said the team expects Jack will play Wednesday night in Atlanta . . . The Nets hired former Pelicans assistant coach Randy Ayers as a college scout and former Bucks assistant Bob Bender as a pro scout.