Nene Has No Regrets After Headbutting Jimmy Butler

Matthew SchmidtFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2014

Referee Jason Phillips moves to separate Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) and Washington Wizards forward Nene, center, from Brazil, in the second half of Game 3 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series on Friday, April 25, 2014, in Washington. Nene received a double technical and was ejected. The Bulls won 100-97. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon

Washington Wizards big man Nene was ejected from the team's Game 3 loss to the Chicago Bulls Friday night for headbutting Chicago Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler.

Nene was thrown out with eight-and-a-half minutes to go, and the ejection proved costly, as the Wizards would end up losing 100-97. They certainly could have used his services down the stretch.

Unfortunately for Washington, it will be without the big man for the next 48 minutes, according to Aggrey Sam of CSN Chicago.

Nene doesn't regret his antics one bit, though.

"I have nothing to regret," said Nene, per NBA.com. "I'm a warrior right there. What I did, I'm supposed to do."

Of course, this was before the news broke that Nene would be suspended for Game 4, so maybe Nene has a slightly different outlook on his actions now.

When asked about any potential repercussions from the NBA, Nene simply remarked, "I don't know."

It's hard to comprehend exactly what was going through Nene's mind when he headbutted Butler and then wrapped his hands around the Chicago player's neck. Nene has to realize that it's the playoffs, and his ballclub desperately needs him, especially considering just how well he had been playing in the series.

Nene has averaged 17 points and 6.3 rebounds per game through the first three contests of the first round, shooting a robust 53.3 percent from the floor.

Now, the Brazilian may have single-handedly given all of the momentum to an experienced Bulls team that is certainly no stranger to physical play.

Chicago will have an opportunity to tie the series at two games apiece when the two clubs meet at 8 p.m. ET Monday night at the Verizon Center. That would be dangerous territory for the Wizards, as they would then have to try and win Game 5 at what would surely be a rocking United Center crowd Tuesday night.

Perhaps Washington can pull itself together and come out on top in Game 4, but that task just became much more difficult.