It all started because the good folks at Nets Daily love them some Brook Lopez. The Nets center has been putting together some serious stats, but when the time came for the coaches to fill out the All-Star roster for the East, the name Lopez was missing. Instead of letting the slight go, or ripping everybody within earshot (or internet monitor), they decided to show some support for the big guy.
Nets Daily member GothamGooner posted this FanPost that included:
So, here's the deal: I'm going to buy a bunch of tickets (between 20 and 40) and they will be free of charge to people who will commit to 1) bring a sign with a message of appreciation for Brook Lopez and 2) chant and cheer in support of Brook and the rest of the team from tip-off to the final horn.
So the night of the game, they'd showed up to support Brook, and it didn't go unnoticed. Lopez told reporters after the game that he noticed the Nets Daily crew and the giant head they brought.
"It was awesome!" he told reporters after the game. In particular he loved the "giant head" Nets fan ("one ugly mug"). Lopez admitted, somewhat sheepishly, that he had heard the "Lopez All-Star" chant and at one point seemed to acknowledge them from the bench.
"I'm just thankful we have support like that," he told reporters. "We have great fans and they continue to support us night in and night out. I'm glad they're here for our guys."
Check out the video recounting the night and includes an interview with GothamGooner.
I checked in with the editor of Nets Daily, Tlorenzo, for his take.
Q: Have Nets Daily done other group outings before?
TLorenzo: This was the first real group outing, and the coolest thing about it all was that it was developed for and by our community -- more specifically Bobby, aka GothamGooner. He created a FanPost, which was essentially a call-to-action in our community and the the response was really overwhelming. So, the credit goes to Bobby, first, and our community who was more than happy to show their support for a worthy cause.
Q: What was the community reaction when so many people took notice, including Lopez?
They loved it. When they heard the YES Network talking about them on air, when they saw the tweets with Brook's reaction, when they saw the Barclays Center TV video... it was unbelievable. I don't think they thought the recognition would reach the level that it did. Not to where Brook would comment on it and talk about the posters they made -- especially the giant Brook Lopez head. It was great to see that their efforts didn't go unnoticed.
Q: How much credit do yo take for David Stern naming Lopez to the game a few days later?
All of it! Or, maybe none. I'm sure there was some recognition from the league, maybe? Whether or not it swayed Stern's decision, I doubt it. Brook was more than deserving to be selected to the All-Star game. Credit goes to his play.
Q:. Anything else you want to add?
The community is actually having a "Loud & Proud" night in Philadelphia to show their support to the Nets, and it's based off of the success from the "Brook Lopez Appreciation Night." You can see the energy now from the community, knowing that they can put something like this together. It's really was a great experience, and we're going to get as involved as possible in setting up more outings in the future.
We're not saying that the Brook Lopez Appreciation Night was responsible for any changes made the East All-Star roster, but just a couple of days later David Stern named Lopez as an All-Star replacing Rajon Rondo.
Okay, we're saying it, Nets Daily put Brook Lopez in the All-Star Game!
Congrats to Nets Daily and GothamGooner for showing what one fanatic community can do, and congrats to Brook Lopez.