The Washington Wizards were one of 10 NBA teams with at least two representatives in the London Olympics but neither Nene nor Kevin Seraphin will return to Washington with a medal after both players’ teams were eliminated on Wednesday in the quarterfinals at North Greenwich Arena.
Nene returned to action after missing the previous game with soreness in his left foot and finished with seven points and 12 rebounds in Brazil’s 82-77 loss to Argentina. He played 27 minutes and was on the floor when his team rallied from an 11-point deficit to get within 70-68 with 4:21 remaining. But after Argentine point guard Pablo Prigioni made a layup, Nene missed a short runner in lane and Brazil wouldn’t draw any closer.
With Brazil no longer in the hunt for its first medal in 48 years, Nene can now rest his ailing left foot and prepare for Wizards training camp on Oct. 2. He averaged 6.6 points on 55 percent shooting and eight rebounds in his first Olympics appearance.
But will it be his last? His native country will host the Olympics in 2016, when Nene will be 33 and would’ve just finished his final season under his current five-year, $65 million contract.
Seraphin played sparingly in France’s 66-59 loss to Spain, collecting two points, three fouls and three turnovers in 6 minutes, 31 seconds. Seraphin didn’t play the final 16 minutes, leaving the floor with his team trailing by two. France’s offense came to a screeching halt in fourth quarter, when it missed 13 consecutive shots from the floor and allowed Spain to score 12 unanswered points.
Despite shooting a team-best 54.8 percent from the floor throughout the Olympics, Seraphin watched the collapse from the bench. Seraphin finished averaging 6.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in six games.
The final game was marred by ugly meltdown by in the final minute, as former Wizard Ronny Turiaf of France knocked Rudy Fernandez out of the game with a hard foul and Nicolas Batum struck Juan Carlos Navarro with a closed fist to Navarro’s groin. Batum then had an exchange with Jose Calderon and both players needed to be separated.
Spain will play Russia and Team USA will play Argentina on Friday in the semifinals.
More from The Washington Post