It was a bittersweet day, to say the least.

From the front office to the locker room to the administrative staff, the trade that sent longtime Nuggets big man Nene to the Washington Wizards generated a wave of emotion.

On the one hand, the Nuggets were sad to part ways with a gentle giant who provided inspiration by beating testicular cancer and helped the franchise make the transition from the draft lottery to a perennial playoff team.

With whopping snowdrifts and bone-rattling wind chills, Midwest winters can be generously described as harsh.

For Denver Nuggets center Kosta Koufos, neither rain nor sleet nor snow could keep him from taking a study break to shoot a few baskets in his driveway while growing up in Canton, Ohio.

Call it the basketball player’s creed.

“I’d be in the driveway working out in the snow,” Koufos said. “My mom used to scream at me, saying ‘You’re going to get sick!’ ”