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News » Denver Nuggets Notes, Quotes 2009-10-19

Denver Nuggets Notes, Quotes 2009-10-19

Denver Nuggets Notes, Quotes 2009-10-19--Rio de Janeiro has been awarded the 2016 Olympics, but Nuggets center Nene, a native of Brazil, isn't planning to be there.

"In seven years. I'm retired in seven years," Nene said.

Nene, who is in his eighth season, turned 27 last month, and would seem to still have some good years left in 2016 and beyond. But he said he is serious about retiring before the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, when he will be just 33.

Nene, entering the fourth year of a six-year, $60 million contract, said he doesn't want to be a player who is chasing money. He plans to retire at a relatively young age to devote his life to his church in Brazil.

"Every year gets harder," said Nene, who said he will play at least five more NBA seasons, but offered no guarantees after that. "By seven, I'll stop. I won't go for more than seven because I have other goals. I have like a deal for my pastor. I want to get involved with the church right here in Brazil. If my financial situation is stable, why am I going to (want to) have more money? I'm not crazy for money."

--Swingman Joey Graham is locked into a battle with James White for the likely 13th and final roster spot on the Nuggets. Both have non-guaranteed contracts, but Graham vows that won't hamper him.

"I'm going to take advantage of the opportunity," Graham said. "I'm going to turn that non-guaranteed into a guaranteed."

Graham has looked good in the preseason and appears to have the upper hand to make the team over White. However, there are no certainties for Graham even if he is on the opening-night roster.

Graham's non-guaranteed contract means the Nuggets, if they find a wing player they like better, could waive him at any time before January and not have to pay him. They could trade him to a team that is looking to shed salary, with that team then waiving Graham.

Due to financial reasons, it's unlikely the Nuggets will want to keep more than the NBA minimum of 13 players on the roster. So that makes it unlikely both Graham and White will make the team.

MAIN REASON NUGGETS CAN WIN: The Nuggets will continue to come into games with a defensive mentality, which is why they had such a fine season last year. They have enough star power in Carmelo Anthony, Chauncey Billups and J.R. Smith that offense should rarely be a major problem.

MAIN REASON NUGGETS CAN LOSE: The Nuggets will miss the versatility on the wing they had with the departure of defensive oriented Dahntay Jones and offensive sparkplug Linas Kleiza. Nene and Kenyon Martin often have had significant injuries, and it might be hard for them to stay healthy the entire season.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm (not) the same player you all saw (before). Last year, I really took a couple of steps forward." -- Nuggets forward Carmelo Anthony, who stepped up his defense and improved his passing game last year to become a better all-around player, despite averaging fewer points.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: October 20, 2009


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