Maller quotes statements that Nene made in the Denver Post that have Nene saying, “When are the Nuggets going to get Nene back? ‘I can't say,’ said Nene, impatiently waiting for a reasonable facsimile of the big man that Denver so desperately needs to return. Nene tore a knee ligament against these same Spurs on Nov. 1, 2005. More than 14 months later, there is neither a spring in his step nor anything resembling a smile on his face. ‘It is embarrassing for me, because I can not do much,’ said Nene, being brutally frank and harsh on himself. ‘It’s in my mind. I don’t feel well. I feel weak. I feel embarrassed.’”
But the question that really needs to be answered is who should feel more embarrassed at this juncture of the situation, Nuggets management or Nene himself? Every single last report from the off-season was rooted around positivism surrounding Nene. He was getting married, in the best shape of his career, working profusely on his game, and signing a 6-year, 60-million dollar contract. Do the new faces in Nuggets management have egg on their face for signing a badly injured player that had yet to prove his concrete value? Does the onus of blame reside on the mainstream media for not reporting the truth, but rather printing what they thought the Nuggets Nation would like to hear? Or does the weight of not being able to perform like 60 million dollars would indicate solely rest on the broad shoulders of “Big Brazil?”
There is no definitive answer to the question, but it is nice to see a professional athlete admit that he is not performing at a level that is satisfying the fans that ultimately create his paycheck. If I were the one conducting the interview with Nene and these types of sentiments were expressed it would have proven to me on the spot that Nene truly does care about his performances and is not just satisfied with being a wealthy basketball player that is going to cash his checks regardless of his output on the court. I would have also told the big fella to turn that embarrassment into motivation and that he can still be the player he was, and better, if he truly sets his mind to it!
So what do you think, Nuggets Nation? Is Nene being too hard on himself or is this a blunder by Denver’s front office? I want to hear what you think in the comments section. If you don’t have a name yet, what are waiting for? Sign up and join the fun already!