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Key to the brewing Dwight Howard trade is Brook Lopez, the first Brooklyn Nets spokesmodel

So the Brooklyn Nets, in a frenzy of deal making and wallet-opening (thanks to the fabulously wealthy Mikhail Prokhorov), have already pulled off a hat trick: re-signing Gerald Wallace, trading for star Joe Johnson, and re-signing point guard Deron Williams.

AP photo
Now, thanks to the adroit manipulation of the salary cap, the juggling of contracts, the willingness to spend, and the magic of multi-team trades, the Nets remain in the lead, seemingly miraculously, for Orlando star Dwight Howard. And that would would further transform the Nets from having a great backcourt and a solid core to a contender.

To do so, however, they have to move center Brook Lopez.

And as Brooklynites are coaxed, by the relentless media drumbeat and promotional advertising, to welcome their "new hometown team," let's flash back to little more than two months ago, at the 4/30/12 "brand identity launch" of the Brooklyn Nets.

That's when none other than Lopez was presented as the face of the franchise. (Remember, Williams hadn't been signed yet.)

The first Brooklyn Nets spokesmodel

"We want Brooklynites to know that we are committed to being part of the fabric of the community," arena and team CEO Brett Yormark said. "We will be Brooklyn's home team." He then welcomed Lopez to the podium, honoring him as the first player to wear a Brooklyn Nets logo. Lopez donned a cap.



"Hello Brooklyn," Lopez declared, in his goofy manner. "I've been waiting a long time to say that. I'm pretty excited."

"I'm honored to be here today, representing my teammates, and I'm proud to be a part of the Brooklyn Nets," he said. "For the longest time I've been pestering guys like Billy and Brett... give me some hints of what our new log and new colors look like.... I must say, I''m a huge fan. Jay-Z's done fantastic job, creating what will become a large part of our brand identity."

(Remember, that new logo was credited to Jay-Z though actually designed by a guy named Timothy Morris.)

"And as we move on to the Barclays Center, and more importantly Brooklyn," Lopez continued, "we'll be the first sports team for over 50 years. [Brooklynites] will be excited for our coming, We have been working hard to be the team that they really deserve, and we are excited for that."

Enjoy your destination, Mr. Lopez, wherever it is.

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