Wizards’ Nene Booed in Brazil Return
With Nene back home to play his first game in front of his countrymen in more than 11 years, the Wizards donned gray T-shirts with green, yellow and black lettering that read, “One Game. One Love. Brasil.”
Nene is a pioneer, the first player from Brazil to play in the NBA, but he is not universally revered here. In fact, Nene got a jolting reminder at HSBC Arena on Saturday that the opposite is actually the case for many. Booed during introductions, when he addressed the crowd and later as he shot free throws, Nene encountered a reaction that was vastly different from what he experienced during an emotional week of handshakes, hugs and smiles for the native of Sao Carlos.
The game forced Nene to face several fans who have been upset with his decision to play for the Brazilian national team only twice since he was drafted seventh overall in 2002. Nene has sat for different reasons — from disputes with Brazilian Basketball Federation officials over money and insurance to injuries.