7-foot ​Brazilian native and former NBA player Lucas "Bebe" Nogueira recently opened up about his rehabilitation after struggling with substance abuse and depression, and how he is working towards a possible return to the NBA. 


In September of 2018, Nogueira went to play in Spain for Montakit Fuenlabrada of the Liga ACB after four seasons with the Toronto Raptors. Nogueria soon left the team once his struggles became too much to handle and returned back to Brazil. 


Nogueira spoke with ESPN in an interview and confessed to battling depression, announcing he has been sober for three months now. 


“I have responsibilities now,” Nogueira told ESPN.com.br. “I have a daughter to feed and a family to help. People depend on me. This helped me to push through. I’m a young man and I cannot surrender. I should use all of that to inspire me to play my best basketball again.”


Nogueira gave some perspective to a widely0used argument that celebrities and famous athletes have nothing to be "sad" about when they get to live lavish lifestyles and make a lot of money. 


"People start to make fun of you and mock you just because you have some money and some status, they think you’re untouchable, like you’re not human," Nogueira painfully admitted. "Money and status don’t matter that much. It [depression] can happen to anybody. You can’t escape just because you’re famous.”


Nogueira also spoke about how his time in Spain caused him to get caught up in the party scene. 


“I went out a lot. In Spain, we had one game per week. You’re young, you have some money and no limits. You would eventually find the party. It’s Europe. I had no work ethic whatsoever. When I went to the U.S. I saw that a 15-year-old kid had more discipline than I did. It is a cultural thing.”

Now, Nogueira is looking towards his future and is working diligently on getting himself back to the NBA, claiming, “What makes me so confident is my training and my attitude. I’m ready for the challenge like I’ve never been.”


Nogueira is known for his humbleness, something that can be hard to come across in the professional sports world. 

Nogueira's first goal is to represent his home country of Brazil in the FIBA World Cup in China this August.