Milwaukee Bucks: Robin Lopez misses his pre-game wrestling routine

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 8: (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 8: (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

We all have things we miss doing right now. For Milwaukee Bucks veteran center Robin  Lopez, it’s his famed pre-game wrestling routine.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to upend life across the world, there’s no shortage of activities that have had to be put on hold in light of social distancing.

Of course, live sports is at the forefront of that list for many, while live music, moviegoing, and just the ability to socialize more generally have all had to be parked for now too.

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As a couple of Milwaukee Bucks players spoke to the media on Tuesday, attention was drawn to how one notable and particularly consistent element of life around the Bucks has also been a casualty of this crisis.

No, that’s not a reference to games, or practice, but instead the team’s pre-game wrestling ritual, which has become a staple of the Bucks’ preparations as the NBA’s leading team this season.

As the season has progressed, the Bucks’ wrestling antics have grown more and more elaborate and gained ever-growing attention.

Undoubtedly one of the focal points of that attention, and the attention of his teammates during the pre-game fights, is veteran center Robin Lopez.

Lopez has enjoyed a strong first season with the Bucks, perhaps in part due to how well the system fits his game, but also just how much fun he seems to be having.

RoLo has emerged as the recurring villain in the Bucks’ wrestling routine, clearly relishing the prospect of playing the heel from night to night.

Therefore, it was entirely unsurprising that when the absence of wrestling was brought up by Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Lopez was quick to play up to how social distancing has created this particular void in his life.

"“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up at night with such a sense of melancholy, wistfully wishing that I would have some kind of human contact, whether it be an elbow to the face, a fist to the stomach, a fist to the gut, just some kind of human contact with one of my teammates.”"

If the season is to resume at any point, there’s a very good chance it could see the Bucks and the rest of the league’s teams playing at Lopez’s beloved Disney World, something which the 31-year-old also offered his endorsement for.

"“The Disney resorts, it’s one large area that can be controlled pretty well, access can be controlled. There’s a lot of different resorts similar to Vegas, but I think you can control who is coming in and out easier than in Vegas. That’s just me with my biased opinion.”"

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Perhaps that could soften the blow somewhat for Lopez as who knows how the idea of pre-game wrestling might be received if the NBA was taking place in a quarantined bubble.