NEW ORLEANS — Ask most people who follow the New Orleans Hornets to describe center Robin Lopez and chances are you’ll find out little about his game.
Instead, the first thing that pops into mind is his hair, his long, curly afro that resembles the style of famous PBS painter Bob Ross.
Luckily for fans, twin brother Brook, who plies his trade for the Brooklyn Nets, Robin has kept his long hair.
Otherwise, it would be hard to tell them apart, Hornets coach Monty Williams said.
At least, it would be hard off the court.
On the court, Williams said there’s very little similar about the twins.
“Robin’s probably not as polished as Brook offensively,” Williams said. “Brook is a guy who can stand outside and just shoot the ball consistently. Brook absorbs a lot more punishment in the post. Robin, most people would say he’s more defensively inclined. That would probably be the main difference.”
The New Orleans Lopez will host the Brooklyn Lopez on Tuesday night, their only meeting in the Crescent City this season.
And while Brook is coming off an appearance in the All-Star game, Robin is steadily becoming an integral part of New Orleans’ future.
Robin, for what it’s worth, agrees with his coach on his strengths.
“Growing up, I was always more of a defensive player,” Robin Lopez said. “I would guard the better centers. Brook was more of an offensive center. I guess you can see how that developed.”
This season, the Hornets’ Lopez is averaging 11.4 points and 1.6 blocked shots per game to go with 5.4 rebounds.
In February, a month in which the Hornets have won a quarter of their total wins, he’s becoming more of an offensive player, averaging 12.3 points per game. In the five wins, he has averaged 13.6 points and 1.8 blocks per game.
And yet, questions Monday were about his relationship with his brother, a natural topic considering the meeting Tuesday.
“We’re very similar people,” he said. “We’re both very creative people, very stubborn. We have a lot of similarities. Brook’s a little more aggressive, vocal and outspoken. We both have pretty fiery tempers.”
And the hair?
“It just happened that way,” Robin Lopez said. “It wasn’t a conscious thing or a collaborative effort. We didn’t come together and talk about it to discuss our hairstyle. It was just one day he got his cut and I didn’t.”