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Nene will not play for Brazil this summer, sign of free agency

Jun 27, 2011, 8:51 AM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Denver Nuggets

This summer, from Argentina to Lithuania, international basketball tournaments will be taking place with berths in the 2012 London Olympics at stake.

But NBA contracts and the lockout will play a role.

For example, soon to be free agent Nene will not be playing for Brazil this summer, according to the Associated Press.

The Brazilian basketball confederation said Nene asked to be released on Friday, citing “personal” and “contractual” reasons. The confederation said Nene’s one-sentence statement did not provide any further explanation for his request.

Nene is expected to become a free agent this summer, although Denver is working hard to get him an extension before the lockout starts July 1. This is a sign he wants to test the market. It’s not a shock that a guy on the brink of a free agent massive payday may not want to risk injury in international ball.

But with the lockout, he and a number of NBA players who could play for their countries this summer face another problem — insurance. With the lockout all the insurance for these players goes away. That dramatically ups the risk of playing in these FIBA tournaments, if an arrangement cannot be worked out. And that is how the NBA lockout could impact the Olympics.

  1. ac0117 - Jun 27, 2011 at 8:56 AM

    One of the most underrated players in the NBA… can’t blame him for this, he’s about to get a contract that matches his skills (assuming no lockout…)

  2. cancionisimas - Jun 27, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    Marc Gasol will play with Spain.

    What do you think about Spanish Team?

    Jose Calderón, Ricky Rubio
    JesusChrist Navarro, Rudy Fernández
    Victor Claver, Sergio Suárez
    Pau Gasol, Felipe Reyes
    Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka

    Not bad…

  3. edweird0 - Jun 27, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    His choice is very understandable but it seems like an odd choice nonetheless, considering Brasilians are such prideful people.

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