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Nets GM says Brook Lopez will never be a 10 rebound a game guy

Jan 5, 2011, 10:51 AM EDT

New Jersey Nets v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

Brook Lopez is not a terrible rebounder. He’s just a terrible rebounder for a guy who is 7-feet tall and spends his time hanging out near the basket. He’s averaging an uninspiring 8.6 rebounds per game.

Or, look at it this way: so far this season, Lopez is bringing down about 10.4 percent of the available rebounds when he is on the floor. Which is down from previous years (he was at a solid 15.4 percent as a rookie). For comparison, Kevin Love is at 23.5 percent and most traditional starting centers are in the upper teens.

In a fit of either honesty or Phil Jackson style through-the-media motivation, New Jersey Nets general manager Billy King said he never expects Lopez to average 10 rebounds a game because he doesn’t have the desire, as reported by the New York Daily News.

“I don’t think Brook is ever going to be a 10-rebound guy. Rik Smits, I think, at his best was a seven-rebound guy. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, as great a scorer as he was, he wasn’t a great rebounder. Some guys have a knack for it. Some guys don’t,” King said. “I think he could get better at it, I just don’t think it’s something where he’s going to be a 10-, 12-rebound guy a night. I just don’t think it’s in him.”

You don’t see Smits and Abdul-Jabbar in the same sentence all that often. King tried to soften the blow by saying every team still wants Lopez.

“If you do your polls and talk to 29 other GMs, I guarantee you 29 of them that would say, ‘If you don’t want him, we’ll take him.”

  1. leearmon - Jan 5, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    I’ve said it before, i’ll say it again.. Brook Lopez = Eddy Curry. You need to fact check, he’s averaging only 6.2 rebounds this season, not 8.6, and is only rebounding 8 per for his career, dont know where you got that 8.2 from. Nevertheless, they both put up lots of scoring on awful teams. He doesn’t contribute in other ways to win. Rik Smits didn’t rebound very well partly because he had both the Davis boys rebounding for him, not to mention a strong Pacer team all of whom rebounded fairly well. The Nets on the other hand… not so much. But King is correct, Lopez will never become a good rebounder, He’ll be 23 in April, and has shown no improvement since becoming a pro. That’s frightening. Most players in the age span of 20-23 show huge leaps of improvement in several areas, however Lopez’s turnovers are higher, blocks are lower, rebounding and scoring are down, while still around the same usage. Why he’s considered “untradeable” or even a key piece to a rebuilding team is beyond me. Im very interested in seeing what New Jersey gives him next season.

  2. thestudiokida - Jan 5, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    Gosh Kareem only nabbed 17,440 rebounds in his career… good enough for third all-time. That’s effing ridiculous to utter Kareem’s name in the same breath as Brook Lopez.

  3. zackd2 - Jan 5, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    Huh? Kareem didn’t average under 10 REB/game until he was 34.

    • Kurt Helin - Jan 5, 2011 at 1:47 PM

      Re: Kareem: I think that speaks to Billy King as a GM.

      • zackd2 - Jan 5, 2011 at 5:57 PM

        Kareem should do what Chris Webber did with the Darko thing and say “Don’t mention my name and his name in the same sentence.”

  4. ilevy - Jan 5, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    How about diminshing returns? His first two years Yi, a terrible rebounder, played most of the power forward minutes alongside him. This year its Derrick Favors and Troy Murphy two above average rebounders. Oh, and also Kris Humphries, who’s 6th in the league in TRB%. It’s hard to measure how big that effect is but certainly that plays a role in his numbers being down this season. My complete take is at Hickory-High if anyone’s interested:

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