The Brooklyn Nets lost last night in Toronto, but the bigger story from yesterday is Brook Lopez’s uncharacteristic display of extreme force against the Raptors’ mascot, who stood no chance once Lopez, a seven foot-tall center, decided to take the Raptor out.
Brook has been known to tussle a bit with opposing teams’ mascots in the past, but never anything quite this intense; as FOX Sports writes, “the latest bit of mascot tomfoolery might have gone too far.”
Neither Lopez nor the mascot were miked, so you can’t hear what was said, but you can see the confrontation between the two begin when Brook begins to walk menacingly towards the Raptor and the mascot grabs a nearby cart full of basketballs with which to shield himself.
The next few seconds are extremely intense. Brook says something to the mascot gently while stretching his open hands as if attempting to convince the Raptor he means no harm. The Raptor, though, does not buy Brook’s charade and continues to hide behind the ball-rack, making sure to shuffle left or right to keep himself directly on the other side of the rack as Lopez.
After failing to convince the Raptor to “surrender quietly,” Brook bears down on the mascot, trying to push aside the rack to get to his target.
When Brook finally does push the cart aside, the Raptor knows there is no possibility of taking on his giant of an opponent and attempts to make a break for the center of the court. But he is instantly denied by Lopez, who has the superhero-like reflexes of most NBA players, and after grabbing his opponent, Brook flips the mascot onto his back and slams him onto the court in what the announcers on the official NBA recap of the showdown describe as a “body slam, Paul Orndorff style.”
Friendly Bounce reports that the Lopez v. Raptor video was shot before the game actually began.
As you can hear in the video, the Raptor is not unfamiliar with the wrath of the Lopez brothers. Just this past November, Robin Lopez of the New York Knicks smashed a sign over the head of the Toronto Raptors mascot after getting irritated with him over a sign that Latin Times points out was obviously meant as a cute joke.
But if fans thought Robin’s assault against the Raptor was harsh, as many Reddit users think it was, then Brook Lopez’s crusade was downright cold-blooded, as this one actually included a horror movie-style showdown and ended with the “victim” on his back.
“I don’t know what The Raptor did to Brook Lopez, but clearly the joke is over. There must be authentic bad blood,” writes FOX.
But as Raptors Republic notes, maybe Brook’s Raptor rumble was just a result of brotherly love. Brothers, and especially twin brothers like Robin and Brook, often attempt to join in on each other’s legacies out of compassion for one another. And although Robin and Brook are often feuding and calling each other out for being “idiots” or “nerds,” maybe they are just doing what brothers do.
Is Brook Lopez’s decision to join in on his brother’s tradition of WWE-style mascot smackdown just another testament to the bond of brotherhood the two share?
Although the Lopez bros chalked up yet another “W” in their war against the mascots, Brook’s Brooklyn Nets failed to do the same in their campaign against the Toronto Raptors squad last night. In doing so, Brook’s team fell to 18 wins and 46 losses on the season.
Brook’s inability to slow the string of losses marking the Nets’ current season lends quite a bit of credence to the circulating rumor that the Brooklyn team may be looking to pawn Brook Lopez off on another franchise.
[Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images]