Washington Wizards: Why Nene is the X-factor

A crazy man is cut loose by the Washington Wizards multiple times during the year. His name is Nene.


Nene’s peculiar antics give the Wizards an edge over the opposition.

Nene is one of those players that just has an affinity for doing to the dirty work, which is why he can become a huge X-factor for the Wizards in the future. At 6-foot-11 and 250 pounds, this 31-year-old power forward uses both brains and brawn to outplay his competition.

Nene constantly displays a sweet stroke from mid-range. On top of a nice jumper, Nene has the ability to put the ball on the floor and finish with authority without a problem.

Despite Nene’s great contributions to the team, he does not get the recognition that he deserves. This guy outplayed Joakim Noah in the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs last year for crying out loud! Key words in the aforementioned sentence are “outplayed Joakim Noah”. That is not easy to do. However, for a guy like Nene, outplaying one of the game’s best big men just adds fuel to the fire.

Flashback to game three of the first-round playoff series between the Wizards and Bulls last year. Now, take a look at the photo to the right of the screen. Yep, poor Jimmy Butler received a headbutt from Nene. Consequently, Nene was suspended for game four but his actions seemingly fired up the Wizards on their way to a 4-1 series win over the Bulls.

Nene is a warrior. Plain and simple. He has so much passion for the game and it shows night in and night out. Nene finished his 12th season in the league with averages of 14.2 points and 5.5 rebounds a game in the regular season. In the first round of the 2014 playoffs against the Bulls, Nene upped his numbers to 17.8 points and 6.5 rebounds per contest while shooting a blazing 54.8% from the field.

Nene has enough heart to spread around to all members of the Wizards. John Wall and Bradley Beal may be two of the most celebrated players on the squad but a lot of their success can be attributed to Nene’s leadership. Guys that last in the NBA a long time are the players who lead by example and dedicate their heart and soul to the game.

Nene has heart. He has soul. Add in a little…scratch that, a lot of crazy and the Wizards look like they have a winner in Nene. If a scuffle breaks out, at least the Wizards know Nene has their back. As of now, Nene can stick to scoring baskets and crashing the boards, not crashing heads.