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Nene totally might have possibly gone to Houston if a trade that didn’t happen had happened. This is a thing, for some reason.

Mar 3, 2012, 1:30 PM EDT

Nene nuggets Getty Images

I’m begging you to let this story die. No one’s happy with how the first Chris Paul trade fell apart. The NBA shouldn’t have owned the team, so that it wouldn’t have been in a position to turn down the trade as the owner (not the league; to say otherwise is basically twisting reality and ignoring facts, which you can do but you’ll be wrong). Dell Demps should not have been put in a position to consider that he had autonomy only to have it yanked away. The Rockets and Lakers should not have been led to believe they were dealing with a sovereign entity when they were not, and David Stern should not have put himself in the position to have to act simultaneously as Commissioner and owner.

No one’s happy. The fans, the players, the media, the league, the management, anyone. Chris Paul’s fine with it, but he only wanted out. Once that happened it wasn’t his problem anymore.

But this thing has to die. It was three months ago, it was a trade that never happened, that shouldn’t have been agreed to by a rebuilding team anyway, and it wouldn’t have solved all the problems or really most of the problems of any of the three teams.

And yet.

The Houston Chronicle decided to ask Nene about how he was supposed to have signed with Houston had they gotten Pau Gasol in the deal, and Nene was (shocker) inconclusive with his approach.

Nuggets center Nene did not quite confirm the widespread conjecture that he would have signed with the Rockets as a free agent had the Rockets’ proposed trade for Pau Gasol been completed, opening cap room to sign Nene. He did come close, referring to Houston as “a better spot.”

“We had a great conversation,” Nene said. “Kevin McHale is a legend. It was a privilege for me to sit down with him, have a little time with him. I like the city. I signed with Denver. I love Denver, but I still like this city. I have friends here.”

Asked if he would have signed with the Rockets, Nene laughed and said: “I can’t answer that. People think it.”

Nene cited a variety of reasons for his fondness for Houston, not the least of which was a quality Houston has that few NBA cities can match; ample humidity.

“It’s like Brazil,” Nene said. “It’s humid, like tropical. Nice. I like the players that play here. I love Denver. All my career is right there. Friends. Family. I’m in a good spot. I could have been in a better spot, but I’m in a good spot right now.”

via Ultimate Rockets » Nuggets’ Nene shares his fondness for Houston.

Yeah, those NBA players definitely do make free agency decisions to give up significant money because of humidity. Happens all the time.

Sigh.

Look, they may have gotten Nene. It’s possible. They wouldn’t have been really all that much better because neither Gasol nor Nene are great rebounders, their defense would suffer and the skillsets are slightly redundant. (Check this out for more on that.) He could have signed with Denver anyway, because of the money and situation. There’s no way to know. But dragging up this trade over and over again in a vain hope of tearing down the league for something that’s over with and was the right decision regardless is insane. There are a lot of ways to make the Rockets a contender with that roster.

Nene and Gasol was a bandaid on a bullet hole.

  1. sellahh - Mar 3, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    OK so ever since today Gasol is not a great rebounder, ill note this one.

  2. plum13sec - Mar 3, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    David Stern Vetoing the trade shows how he sticks his fingers everywhere in the league.

    David Stern also fixes some of the drafts if he sees a team is in desperate need of good stories or players.

  3. thekingdave - Mar 3, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    Uh, so replacing Scola and Martin with Chuck Hayes, Pau Gasol, and Nene makes them a worse defensive team and “not all that much better?” You did watch the last two Rocket losses right? Top 4 seed in the West if it had gone through.

  4. losangelasbasketball - Mar 3, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    Totally bro… Totally…

  5. bknowledge - Mar 3, 2012 at 9:01 PM

    That trade was good for Lakers, good for Houston, and lousy for New Orleans. Good job Stern!!!

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