Nene signed a one-year deal to return to the Houston Rockets. The big man out of Brazil says he decided to return because the organization has been so good to him.
On June 29, Nene declined his $3.83 million option to return to the Houston Rockets for another season. At 36 years old, Nene was unlikely to make more than that anywhere else, especially with his injury history. It looked like he was either going to retire or chase a ring with a different contender.
Fortunately, Nene wanted to stay in Houston.
Despite having an unfair reputation as a cold and strictly analytics-driven organization, the Rockets are very good to their players. Nene explained that he wanted to re-sign with Houston because the team has been good to him over the years, via Mark Berman of FOX 26.
“They’ve been good to me since the 1st day. They believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. When they talked to me about signing the 1st time I had been thru a lot of adversity. The Houston Rockets, they’ve been good to me. That’s why.”
What’s interesting is how many of Houston’s other players share similar feelings about the team. Back in January, Austin Rivers told The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears that his time with the Rockets has been the best of his career. He backed up his comments in July when he signed a two-year, veteran’s minimum contract to return to Houston, even though he probably could’ve inked a bigger deal with a different team.
Eric Gordon, who recently signed a max extension with Houston, told The Athletic’s Kelly Iko that Houston’s great coaches, trainers, and the team’s overall consistency over the past few years is why he signed an extension with the Rockets instead of pursuing a big payday elsewhere.
It’s a good sign that an organization is doing things the right way when players are willing to take less money from a different team in order to return. The Houston Rockets have really built something special with this current roster.