The broad smile and jovial attitude mask it well, but Nene is not happy. He wants to be on the court with his teammates, but his left foot won't let him.
No one would suggest that D.C. has suddenly morphed into the nation's sports capital. The city has too much losing in the rearview mirror — and too many transient fans on the side — to make a grand proclamation just yet. But Washington clearly has been a center of attention lately in the world of professional fun and games.
Championships aren't won in the offseason, but as Washington Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld was quick to point out, every journey begins with a single step.
In his 2 1/2 seasons in Washington, former Wizards coach Flip Saunders often smiled wistfully when talking about the best player he ever coached, Boston Celtics star Kevin Garnett.
Nene arrived in Washington early Saturday evening to take his physical, the final step before officially becoming a member of the Wizards.
Washington Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld cautioned that the team's trade for veteran center Nene doesn't mean the team is abandoning its plan to build through the draft and develop their young players.
John Wall hardly seemed fazed by a trade that left the Wizards without their starting center and one of their top scorers.
It was a game the Wizards had high hopes of winning, as they faced the New York Knicks Wednesday night at the Verizon Center. Yet, even without Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks pulled off an improbable 14-point victory, winning 107-93 as the Wizards defense collapsed in the face of the visitors' deadly pick and roll offense.
The Wizards are stuck in reverse with the pedal floored, collectively unable to comprehend the words "measured" or "smart."