Nets-Knicks 'rivalry' now features both Lopez twins

The Lopez twins have played against each other numerous times, but they're doing it now with New York City's two teams. Getty Images

NEW YORK -- Growing up as twins, Brook Lopez and Robin Lopez have competed against each other many times.

They've even had a light saber duel.

In the NBA, however, they've faced each other nine times. In fact, the first time in their third career NBA game on Nov. 4, 2008, the first-ever field-goal attempt that Robin had blocked was by Brook, in that game. The twins each have blocked one another two times each in their careers, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

This 10th confrontation, which happens to come on Friday night at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET, ESPN), will be a little different.

That’s because Robin now plays for the New York Knicks, who happen to play in the same city as Brook’s Brooklyn Nets.

Robin leads the head-to-head series 5-4, although Brook has posted better numbers (20.3 PPG, 7.7 RPG vs. 10.7 PPG, 5.0 RPG).

As per usual, the twins won’t talk to each other before the game -- their mother, Deborah Ledford, who raised them along with their two older brothers by herself, is attending -- or while they’re playing in it.

“It’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard about brothers. I talk to my brother every day. I don’t want to, but I talk to him every day in some type of way,” Thaddeus Young said, jokingly. “And just to see those guys not speaking to each other, I think it’s crazy. Of course, there’s no love lost or anything like that, but different families have different relationships.”

The twins like to bust on each other -- Robin jokingly called Brook a “crappy” center before a game last season -- but their bond is obvious. Their personalities and interests (shown below) essentially mirror one another.

Robin told a funny story about how they switched classes in first grade.

“His teacher noticed because I actually participated in class. Mine didn’t. I think Brook was quiet the whole time. I don’t know if it was an intentional sense of humor but we thought it was cute idea,” Robin said.

Lately, there has been plenty of “controversy” surrounding their cats -- Poupin (Brook) and Prince Edward Zephyr (Robin) -- who apparently don’t like each other, and, as a result, have prevented the twins from living together.

“Brook’s cat is very two-faced,” Robin told The New York Post recently. “Everybody loves Brook’s cat. To everybody’s face, he’s such a nice cat. And it may sound like I’m joking, but I am dead serious. He acts like a lazy, sweet cat when everybody is looking. But when their heads turn, he’ll try to chase after [my cat] Edward. The second I lay eyes on him, he’ll act like, ‘I’m a cherub. I’m innocent.’ I’m not buying it.”

Anyway, here’s a Lopez vs. Lopez tale of the tape courtesy of a recent NBA player survey:

Who inspired you to play basketball as a kid?

Brook: My two older brothers: Alex and Chris

Robin: Magic Johnson

Favorite TV show?

Brook: The Simpsons

Robin: The Simpsons

Favorite movie?

Brook: Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Robin: Rage

Guilty pleasure song on your playlist?

Brook: Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus

Robin: Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus

Off-the-court hidden talent?

Brook: Karaoke Superstar

If you weren’t an NBA player, what would you be?

Robin: Cartoonist

Favorite fashion accessory or item of clothing?

Brook: Detroit Tigers baseball cap