With both LeBron James and Anthony Davis sitting out, new Los Angeles Lakers forward Rui Hachimura made his first start in purple and gold and put forth a solid outing. Hachimura finished with 16 points on 6-of-13 shooting to go along with four rebounds but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to help the Lakers overcome Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets.
Hachimura has now been with the Lakers for about a week, having suited up in three games for his new team, giving both the team and fans a glimpse at what he is capable of and the potential he possesses. Joining a new team is always difficult, but it is even more so when you join a team in the middle of the season when they have already established an identity.
But so far Hachimura believes the process has been going great, saying after Monday’s contest that both players and coaches are helping him through the early adjustment period, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“I think it’s been good, it’s been great. The coaches, of course the players they’ve been talking to me during the game, after the game. The practices, watch a lot of film and learn those plays and the defensive contests. I think for me it’s been easier for me to get used to this and adjust.”
The biggest thing when joining a new team is often learning your teammates and their tendencies. Spacing is so important, and knowing where you’re expected to be and when and where to move can take some time. Hachimura definitely believes he is making progress, but also recognizes he still has a lot to learn and study:
“I just had no idea how this was gonna be, but I think so far it’s good. But this is a winning organization so I take this serious and I wanna help this team win more games and make the playoffs, and hopefully win the championship. For me I think I gotta study more. I gotta watch a lot of film and learn those players and watch how the system works. It’s a little bit different, I just gotta focus more on details.”
It is still extremely early and the more time he has on the floor, the more comfortable Hachimura will become with the Lakers. It has been only three games, but once he figures out his role, Hachimura can become an important contributor for this team.
Rui Hachimura believes Japan is happy he has joined the Lakers
Hachimura of course was born and raised in Japan, not coming over to the United States until college where he attended Gonzaga University. The country of Japan doesn’t have a huge presence in the NBA, so Hachimura is an extremely popular figure and him joining the Lakers, the most popular team, is something he thinks the entire country is happy about.
“But like I said before, I think yesterday, the Lakers are like literally the most famous NBA team in Japan,” Hachimura said. “So yeah, I think a lot of people have been watching here. Of course they be following me, so I think as a country we’re so happy about this move. I think I’m so happy to be here.”
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