Lakers News: Anthony Davis Made Fun Of Rui Hachimura’s ‘Weak’ Dunk Package Before Game 1 Dunk Vs. Grizzlies
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Rui Hachimura was the standout performer during the Los Angeles Lakers’ Game 1 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies. He led the team in scoring with 29 points with an insanely efficient 11-for-14 from the field and 5-for-6 from three. He was two points away from Jaren Jackson Jr.’s game-high 31 and one point away from the most bench points in a playoff game in Lakers franchise history.

One of the biggest moments for Hachimura was a fourth-quarter dunk over Jackson, who later won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award. Hachimura had already made four threes to this point, but his dunk with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game was another huge momentum boost for L.A., who had been in control of the Grizzlies but had yet to pull away.

After the game, both Hachimura and Lakers star Anthony Davis discussed the dunk and how perfectly it connected to a funny moment between the team prior to the game. Davis explained the situation and why it made Hachimura’s Game 1 dunk all the more impressive, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“He had a great (game). We always mess with Rui. He has this clip saved on his phone of him dunking on me when he was in Washington. He shows it to Austin (Reaves) all the time. And actually he elbowed me in the face, they didn’t call it though. We gave him a hard time about it like ‘Your dunk package is not elite. You just do regular dunks.’ And he told us yesterday, he said ‘Watch, I’m going to dunk on somebody this series.’ And it happened Game 1 on a guy who is a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year, so it was cool to watch.”

Hachimura explained his side of the story as well. He spoke about the moment in Game 1 and why he felt he had to prove his dunk package to the team after the comedic back-and-forth with Davis and the Lakers, via Spectrum SportsNet:

“I was making shots and I knew that Jaren Jackson is going to try to block the shot, every shot. I just pump-faked and went to the rim strong. It was funny, just yesterday or two days ago, the whole team got into like — not an argument — a conversation about how my dunk package is kind of weak. And I was showing all my highlights on. YouTube and they didn’t like that. So I told them, I said ‘Look, this series I’m going to have one, just watch.’ And it happened today, and they told me that I got one. They told me to be more aggressive, they want me to be more aggressive on the offensive and defensive side. That’s what I did today.”

It’s arguable that Sunday’s Game 1 was Hachimura’s breakout performance with the Lakers and in the NBA. It’s certainly the biggest stage he’s ever played in, and he did not disappoint.

Hopefully, the momentum from his performance — and the aggression from his dunk — carries over to the rest of the series and however far the Lakers can go in the postseason.

Davis says role players will be key for L.A.’s title hopes

In addition to making fun of his dunk package, Davis also praised Hachimura for the game that he played against the Grizzlies. Additionally, he said that role players like Hachimura and Austin Reaves will be hugely important for the Lakers’ success.

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