Philadelphia 76ers forward Andrés Nocioni isn’t letting the NBA lockout keep him from playing ball.
The 32-year-old Argentinean basketball star is returning to his homeland to play for the Club Atlético Peñarol (Mar del Plata), the two-time reigning champion of the country’s Liga Nacional de Básquet (LNB).
“Chapu,” as he’s commonly known, will play for the team in the Super 8, a tournament played at the end of the year that features the eight teams
with the best records in the first half of the season.
“I always wanted to play here,” said Nocioni during a team press conference. “And when the opportunity arose, I made it a reality.”
Nocioni calls the NBA lockout an “atypical situation and really confusing;” and when he’s done with the Super 8 tournament, he’ll think about whether to continue with Peñarol or sign a contract with a European basketball team.
“Staying put would have been crazy because the Olympic Games in London are so close,” says Nocioni, who will once again be coached by Sergio
Hernandez is thrilled that Nocioni has signed on to play with Peñarol, while Nocioni’s friend and new team member Leonardo Gutiérrez calls his arrival “a pride and pleasure.”
Nocioni is part of the so-called “Golden Generation” of basketball of Argentina, who won the gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in
Athens and a bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Before his trade to the Philadelphia 76ers, Nocioni played for the Chicago Bulls and Sacramento Kings.