Some NBA trading deadline deals you see coming, for example, this. Last year, Nene had no idea his address was about to change. In December of 2011, the Denver Nuggets signed the Brazilian big man to a 5-year, $67 million contract. Three months later he was a Washington Wizard.
Nene's new and old team square off for the second and final time this season Friday night at the Verizon Center. Coverage on Comcast SportsNet begins at 6:30 p.m.
"Yeah, at that time I was to sleep and prepare my mind on the game," Nene said on Thursday, this year's deadline day. "Things happen, so it was fast. So fast, I didn’t have time to think about it."
The 30-year-old also said he doesn't think about it anymore, the playing against the team he spent the first 9 1/2 years of his career thing. Asked about playing against the Nuggets for the first at his new home, Nene said, "Just another game."
From his perspective, the special reunion moment took place on January 18 when the Wizards (15-37) visited Denver.
"You know, the special things are played in the Pepsi Center. Not against the Nuggets," said Nene, who had seven points and four rebounds at Denver. "Yeah, that was my past. Was my team. But the special moment was in the Pepsi Center. They just one more team."
At least Nene copped to this: Washington's 112-108 win over the Nuggets (34-21) was no ordinary win.
Nene: "Honest. Honest, I don’t think much. I take my time here. I just look at my present and my future...Now the Nuggets here, just one more game. But my first game after I got traded, it was special, yes."
Game 53 on the Wizards schedule may be nothing more than that for Nene, but it represents an opportunity to snap the team's current two-game losing streak. Washington fell 96-88 to Toronto on Tuesday, the same day Denver snapped its three-game skid with a victory over Boston.
"We need to play simple. Play hard," Nene said. "Move the ball and trust each other. When you try to play fancy and loose, the game doesn’t go the way you want. Just play simple trust each other."
Nene trusts his former coach, George Karl. Considering the Wizards wrap up their three-game homestand Saturday night against Houston and the Nuggets head to Charlotte, any catching up will come another time.
"Yeah, we talk more in the summer," Nene said.
"About things. He like to talk a lot. Drink wine. And I just listen."