Thursday, October 28, 2010

Robin Lopez, The Future of the Phoenix Suns

By way of introduction:

If that's your first taste of Robin Lopez, you're welcome.  Here was my encounter with the man:

That's Robin Lopez being greeted by NBA commission David "I'm A Huge Douchebag" Stern after being selected with the 15th pick of the 2008 NBA by the Phoenix Suns.  The video, in which Robin appears to be a graceful gazelle, deftly picking that poor Thunder's pocket and gliding smoothly to the rim, is somewhat misleading.  Robin Lopez is a beast. An absolute monster of a man.  He is a 7'0" mountain of intensity.  I need you all to do me a solid right now.  Take 30 seconds and listen to this.  That voice you hear is Alvin Gentry, head coach of the Phoenix Suns.  That explosion at the end?  That's Robin Lopez.  Here's a picture:

Here's what you just heard/are looking at.  It's the middle of December during the 2009/2010 season. The Suns stormed off to a 14-3 record to start, only hit a serious lull after that.  Come December, the Suns are in a bit of a losing streak.  So in the midst of this, the Suns hold a practice in which the players scrimmage 3 on 3.  Robin Lopez's team loses.  Afterwards he calmly walks up the stairs and SLAMS THE DOOR SO HARD IT SHATTERS!!!!!!!!!  Robin Lopez is so fiery that he will literally destroy his very own practice facility after losing a light scrimmage during practice.  Yes, Robin Lopez truly is The Enforcer.  Outside of completely demolishing doors and opponents, he also plays the game of basketball, at which he is very, very good.  We'll get to that in a second.

Here's what else you need to know about Robin Lopez: he has an identical twin brother Brooke that plays for the New Jersey Nets.  Brooke went about five spots earlier than Robin in the draft.  Brooke gets a lot more hype.  Brooke has a slightly better offensive game, but because he was on a really awful team, he got a lot more minutes which means a lot more stats.  But here's the thing.  Robin is the better defensive player.  By a mile.  In fact, Robin Lopez is quite quietly the Better Brother.  Basketball people are starting to realize this.  Consider for a moment the 2010 US FIBA Basketball Team.  They're in the process of making cuts.  Both Robin and Brooke were invited to camp.  Robin had to back out because of back problems (puns!), leaving just the Lesser Lopez, Brooke.  USA basketball head honchos went nuts.  Brooke is probably going to be cut and now everyone is freaking out about the lack of interior defense and rebounding on Team USA.  While Brooke gets the hype and the publicity, Robin gets things done.

Robin Lopez is a Stone Imperial Russian Stout.

Let's get the obvious out of the way.  Fro-Lo played college ball at Stanford and Stone is from California, so they've got that in common.  But let's look deeper.

Stone is widely, some would say primarily, known for its wicked assortment of hoppy ales.  They have a whole gamut of IPAs and that are known and admired throughout the world.  Their Vertical Series is the stuff of legends.  But you know what might be secretly better than these beers that are way more well known?  That's right, their Imperial Russian Stout.  And you want to talk about intense?  The Imperial Russian Stout is the definition of intensity.  If we equate hoppy-ness with offensive production, which, I mean, why not?, then we can imagine why Stone's ales are the Brook Lopezes of the beer world.  The Imperial Russian Stout may not immediately dazzle you the way a double IPA might, but in the end, its sheer intensity gets the job done.  If defense wins champions, then I'm drafting (pun!) Stone's Imperial Russian Stout with a lottery pick.  The Imperial Russian Stout is the type of fortifying beer that could, quite frankly, constitute a meal.  If I'm stuck in an isolated cabin in the middle of the Upper Peninsula in January, I don't want my cabinets stocked with IPAs or flashy ales.  No, I want this.  You can keep your Brooks, your centers that can drop 30 points a game (which, by the way, Robin has done as well) but will ultimately lead your team to 20 wins.  I'll take Robin.  And I'll take a Stone Imperial Russian Stout.

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