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HOUSTON — The Eastern Conference All-Stars dropped 143-138 decision to the Western Conference All-Stars on Sunday night, but Brook Lopez didn't care much about the game's outcome.

No worries, few people did.

Lopez was one of the six first-time All-Stars representing the Eastern Conference, and the big man from Brooklyn believes that he belongs.

Lopez was only one of three centers chosen for the game after the NBA made a somewhat controversial decision to remove the center position from the official All-Star ballot.

So, understandably, Lopez was and is just happy to have participated. But he expects that this won't be his last time being selected as an All-Star.

As for the actual game, Lopez played a game-low 10:35 and managed just three points, five rebounds and three assists. All-Star games aren't about box scores, though, they're about being there, and Lopez was.

He earned the first All-Star berth of his career and also earned the distinction of being the first named All-Star in Brooklyn Nets history.

On Saturday night, Lopez participated in the Sears Shooting Stars competition, where he and his teammates, Muggsy Bogues, a 14 year NBA veteran and Tamika Catchings, the 2011 WNBA MVP, were knocked out in the first round of competition. Team Bosh, led by Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh, won the event.

Lopez had a very busy weekend, making appearances, signing autographs and participating in some of the weekend's festivities. It was difficult for him to say what he enjoyed most.

"It's tough to really pick something out," Lopez said when asked what his favorite moment of the weekend was. "But this was really the right way to end it, I loved being out there."

Though Lopez was named to the team as an injury replacement, he told on Friday that it didn't have an effect on how he felt about the honor of being selected.

On Sunday night, after the game, Lopez said that he believed that he belonged out there with the best big men in the NBA and that his goal for next year was to be a starter.

"I'm confident I am," Lopez said when asked whether he would return to the All-Star Game next year when it's hosted in New Orleans. "It was an honor to be mentioned in the same class with those guys," he said in reference to being one of three centers chosen for the game. The other two were Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers and Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks.

"Being out there on the floor with them at the same time, it's an honor. It was incredible."

Lopez will take his talents back to Brooklyn where he and his 31-22 Nets will attempt to catch the 32-18 New York Knicks for the Atlantic Division lead.

The Nets trail the Knicks by 2 1/2 games for the division lead and are currently the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. The team will return to action on Tuesday, when they host the Milwaukee Bucks at Barclays Center.

Tags: Columns , Moke Hamilton
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