Nene admitted last week he’s overweight and underproducing. If the diet works, the Nuggets expect to see a more nimble and productive big man down the stretch, which would help them make a strong playoff push, having already lost power forward Kenyon Martin early in the season.
“I trust him. I listen to him,” Nene said of Steve Hess, the team’s strength and conditioning coach. “If it doesn’t work, we’ll see.”
It seems to be working. Nene, 6-foot-11, weighed about 273 pounds last week, according to Hess, but Wednesday checked in at 268. The Nuggets would like him to get to 265. With the help of the diet plan Hess recently put him on, Nene hopes to slim down – and turn around what has been a disappointing season.
“Once he loses 5 pounds he’ll be better,” Hess said. “Once he loses 5, it will be easier to lose 10. It’s not that he just tries to lose the weight; once he loses, he’ll still play and practice. So we have to make sure everything is functioning. He still has to play basketball and lose weight. We’ve got to make sure he balances the whole thing.”