Washington Wizards veteran Nene has played in 61 games this season, a minor miracle given all the injuries he has dealt with.
"How tough? Tough enough to think about the end of my career? Yeah, that's how tough it was," he said. "It was so hard to play the way I did it. I thought to end my career because it's so painful, my body can't support. I'm glad I finished the season, but the way I suffer, I hope, never again."
He has dealt with foot, knee and shoulder issues. Nene will sit out Washington's final two games.
Nene is owed $39 million for the next three seasons. He said conversations with his wife, Lauren, and business manager, Alex Santos, persuaded him to keep going.
"Get healthy. That's my priority right now. It's been affected since I got traded. That thing got started when I was with the Nuggets," Nene said. "It was an honor to represent my country and play for my country in the Olympics. I made sacrifice, you know. It was my decision on that one, but now I'm going to have a summer to recover to have my body straight, my strength straight."