The Washington Wizards have completed a rather unexpected run in the NBA Playoffs and it’s no secret that they wouldn’t have gotten to the semi-finals without the presence of Brazilian big man, Nene.
Nene, who was acquired by the Wizards from the Denver Nuggets in exchange for JaVale McGee in 2012, has been a key part in Washington’s rebuild and really stepped up in the first round of playoffs against Joakim Noah and the Bulls.
With that said, Nene has dealt with numerous injuries throughout his 12 year NBA career, including a sprained MCL that kept him out a large portion of this season until he finally returned before the postseason began. Nene was under a minutes restriction, but that wasn’t the case in the playoffs where he played 30+ minutes in virtually every contest.
Now that the season is over, Nene is able to take some time off and recuperate, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. The 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup will obviously be taking place this summer in Brazil and it looks like Nene will represent his national team in his home country.
“I need to forget about basketball for a little bit. In my case, I have things to do with the national team in the summer. I need to turn off right now,” Nene said. “I have a responsibility. I have lot of children who look for me so I (must) do the right thing.”
There is arguably no bigger honor in sports than representing a country, but in Nene’s case, I’m not so sure it was the right idea. Of course, since the event will be taking place in Brazil, it would be extremely difficult for Nene to not participate, but he does have a responsibility to the Wizards organization.
As previously stated, Nene has dealt with some injuries and playing even more competitive basketball after completing a run in the playoffs can’t be good for him. Even though players like Tiago Splitter and Anderson Varejao will likely get the majority of minutes, Nene is still a key player on the Brazilian national team and risking injury to play is a concern.