Twins Peaking (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday February 20, 2008 2:16PM; Updated: Wednesday February 20, 2008 2:16PM
"That's why they've done toys and fish and stuff like that," adds Brook, who plans to be a creative-writing major. Together the brothers dream of one day starting an entertainment enterprise a la Walt. Says Brook, "Our strengths complement each other."
Tests performed on the day they were born (April 1, 1988) were inconclusive, so the twins don't know if they are identical or fraternal. While they both have angular features and basso profundo voices and are nearly matched in weight -- Brook is 260 pounds, Robin 255 -- they aren't hard to tell apart. Since elementary school Brook has kept his hair short and Robin has worn his, well, bigger. If you see a floating cinnamon cloud, that's Robin underneath.
Brook is the more extroverted brother off the court and the more easily frustrated one on it. ("I'm the angrier twin," he says, laughing.) Though he has the unmistakable dimensions of an NBA power forward, he can play with guardlike finesse, which is not surprising since he grew up emulating the game of Arthur Lee, who was an AAU teammate of the twins' oldest brother, Alex, before becoming an All-America point guard at Stanford in 1999. (Brook even wears Lee's number 11.) "Brook can do anything he wants," says teammate Kenny Brown. "He has a great touch. He's not going to blow past you, but he will fake you and move, and he always finishes."
The game seems to come easily to Brook, which may explain why he sometimes takes plays off in practice. His coasting got him in trouble last spring when he stopped going to class and stopped turning in papers, resulting in subpar grades and lost eligibility for the fall quarter. As a consequence he had to sit out the first nine games of the season. (Stanford went 8-1 but lost to Siena on Nov. 17.) "I was just being lazy," says Brook. "I had to get back to doing what I was doing before and be accountable."
Robin, a true center who admired the play of Patrick Ewing, David Robinson and Tim Duncan while growing up, is consistently diligent in practice -- his nickname is Beast -- and more comfortable on the defensive end, where he prides himself on "not letting anyone score when I'm around the basket" and being physical. "Robin is the [twin] who is more likely to dunk because he's so ferocious and tenacious," Brown says. "He's particularly impressive in making blocks from the help side." On offense, adds Johnson, "Robin's not polished or as confident as Brook, but he is very capable. Quite frankly, I'd like him to be more selfish."
"They're both better athletically than you'd expect people that big to be," says Arizona interim coach Kevin O'Neill. "They catch the ball well; they're not afraid of contact; they can run. They have a whole package of qualities that's hard to find in a big guy."
Even before Brook became the first twin to start developing those qualities -- he taught himself to dribble at age two and made his first 10-foot shot at four -- the twins got their first mention in Sports Illustrated. A 1990 article on high school basketball mentioned Alex, who was a 6' 9" eighth-grader at Porter Junior High in Granada Hills, Calif., at the time, and his then 21-month-old brothers, who were already attracting the attention of recruiters because they were projected to reach 7 feet.