Jeremy Hyman - WashingtonWizards.com
What great news to start the day!
The Wizards announced today that they will travel to Brazil during the 2013 preseason to take on the Chicago Bulls on October 12 as part of the NBA’s Global Games initiative in the first ever NBA game played in Brazil!
Great news on many fronts...
First, this will be the first time ever two NBA teams square off in South America. It's always cool to say you did something first.
Next, Nene is going home! No Brazilian has had a more productive NBA career than Nene and for him to get the opportunity to play the first ever NBA game in Brazil is fitting.
I caught up with Nene to get some of his thoughts on what this means to him and to his country. Here's what he said:
On playing in Brazil:
"This is a huge step for South Americans. Brazil probably looked to have that game a long time ago, all the names we have in basketball and what we represent. Now it's real, it's the first time. It's going to be an amazing event. Amazing party, amazing event, amazing game and everything's new."
On Brazilian fans:
"They're going to receive it with the best, warm heart. There are a lot of basketball fans, many big fans. It's going to be great for them to watch the Wizards. To go over there, they will see us, our players. They're going to be closer to many big players for the first time. I hope everything goes well. I know the players are going to enjoy it a lot. It's a lot of events for them. But I'm going to be there to play and to feel the crowd, the Brazilian fans."
On young Brazilians getting to see NBA players:
"It's an amazing opportunity for the young guys. I never had that kind of chance to have the player who I really like to be close to me. They will have NBA players, an NBA game. I hope they take advantage of that, enjoy and have fun."
On the game atmosphere in Brazil:
"Everybody talks about how amazing the game is here. The way they prepare for the game, the party, the fire, the way they introduce all the players, the half time shows. All of those things are going to happen in Brazil. We love parties and shows, but it's going to be extra. I can't describe how it's going to be, but it's going to be amazing."
Nene also talked about the growth of the game in Brazil and how popular it has become. He said, of course it's not soccer, but it has a big following amongst the younger fans in the country.
Nene did not see his first NBA game until he was 13 or 14 years old when a friend of his with a television had it on. Fast forward almost 20 years and he will be the headline as the Wizards trek down south to make NBA history.
More details about the trip will come over the next six months, make sure to stay tuned to WashingtonWizards.com and MonumentalNetwork.com for all of the latest on the Wizards trip to Brazil.