November 30, 2011
Nene has spent his entire nine-year NBA career playing for the Denver Nuggets, is married to a Colorado native, and plans to retire to the Centennial State when he eventually stops playing pro ball, but none of that is going to help him stick with the team, according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears.
"I learned last season that this was a business," Nene told Spears. "No matter how nice you are to people, no matter how nice people are to you, this is a business. I did my best for the team and they waited and waited to extend me. I was like, ‘Oh, OK, all these years playing good, doing your best and they still test you.' That's not about family, love and somebody liking you. It's a business."
According to Spears, before the lockout occurred this summer, the Nuggets offered the 6-11 Brazilian a four-year, $50 million contract extension, which he would have taken during the season but "felt disrespected because the Nuggets waited so long."
So he's opting to be a free agent and wants to sign with a team that is likely to contend for a title, Spears notes. And there should be plenty of folks interested in signing the man who averaged 14.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and one blocked shot per game last season.