Nene commits to playing for Brazil national team

Nene commits to playing for Brazil national team
May 19, 2014, 1:45 pm
Share This Post

Last season, Nene took the summer off to deal with a soft tissue injury in his feet. This summer, even after the Wizards extended their season a month by advancing to the second round of the playoffs, Nene will dedicate himself to Brazil's national team. 

"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."

Health has long been a concern for the Brazilian who was bothered by plantar fasciitis and a sore heel early in the season. He also was lost for 21 games because a strain in a left knee ligament Feb. 23. In playing in just 53 games this season, Nene was on a minutes restriction when he came back from both injuries but the Wizards didn't have to rely on him as much to carry the heavy load. 

RELATED: [Wake-up call: Randy Wittman gains more support from vets]

The Wizards still reached the No. 5 seed and won 44 games as Nene returned to the starting lineup for a first-round series with the Chicago Bulls in which he dominated Joakim Noah, the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year. He wasn't as sharp in the second-round series loss to the Indiana Pacers, but it was his best season since arriving in Washington via trade two seasons ago.