He wore the Nene jersey from start to finish. He wore it sitting in his prominent seat a few feet from the Wizards team bench.
He wore it when the Verizon Center put him on the jumbotron in the final minutes of the Wizards 98-89 Game 4 win over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday afternoon to take a 3-1 series lead. He wore it when the raucous sellout crowd of red, white and blue towel waving fans chanted, "Free Nene, Free Nene."
He wore it while rocking high-fives with fans sitting around him and walking in triumph off the court. There was so much attention, unusual attention at that on Wizards owner Ted Leonsis, that surely everyone in the building, especially those with the organization must have formed an opinion on his sartorial decision
"I didn't (notice). Was he there tonight?" Wizards coach Randy Wittman slyly said following Washington's commanding and much needed victory.
The series shifts to Chicago for Game 5. Nene will return following a one-game suspension for a Game 3 tussle with Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler. The Wizards need one more victory to reach the second round of the postseason for the first time since 2005.
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Bradley Beal was 11 that year. Now he's scoring buckets, defending for his honor for the franchise - and observing the Verizon Center atmosphere including those notable sitting around him.
“The crowd was terrific," said Beal, who scored 18 points in Sunday's win. "We are going to need that moving forward if we make it to the second round. They were electric. We feed off of them and our energy.
"I thought it was pretty hilarious that Ted (Leonsis) had Nene’s jersey on. It kinda threw me off for a minute, but I looked and I saw it was Ted. It’s the sense of humor that we have and he was definitely with us in spirit.”
Glad somebody noticed.