One of the hardest things for a player or a fan in the NBA is to be dealt in a trade, especially after being with a team long-term.
Yes, they know it’s business, but both sides become emotionally invested in the team, player, and environment. As much as you want to compartmentalize those feelings, it’s difficult.
Just ask former Denver Nugget, Nene, whom was traded last season to Washington and sent young big man, JaVale McGee, to Denver via The Washington Post.
“When you play that long in one team, yes, you think you’re going to retire because I thought everything was okay, everything was fine,” Nene said. “But I understand this job. You’re not going to be there forever some place. Sometimes you think, but you don’t know your future.”
Nene often received a bad rap in Denver, he wasn’t what many fans wanted: a tenacious and assertive player in the post; instead he showed momentary glimpses of toughness, but all-too often was too “soft” against other bigs. He was a charming, organic player I’ve ever known, but Denver saw an opportunity and they seized.
Nene, at least, acknowledges that’s the way of the business.
But I do believe Denver will give him a warm homecoming as the Wizards step on the court Friday night.