About 6 foot 10?! No seriously, ahead of this weeks double-header NBA preseason exhibition clash between Canada’s very own reigning champion Toronto Raptors and James Harden and Russell Westbrook’s thunderous reunited Houston Rockets in Tokyo, Japan’s Saitama Super Arena. Let’s take a look at the biggest thing to come out of the home of neon and anime since Godzilla himself roared blue fire.
Gonzaga God and Wizard of Washington with the 9th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, a year before the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, number 8, Rui Hachimura.
Hachimura isn’t the first Japanese player to enter the NBA-recently think of Yuta, Tabuse of the rising Suns and Watanabe, the hustling Memphis Grizzlies sophomore who this Summer has proved he can star alongside the front-court Wizard-but he’s for sure the biggest. And by next summer Rui will have fans waiting outside of every stadium in the Tokyo prefecture like Hachi. This is a true underdog story. Japan’s number 23 could be the LeBron or Jordan to the land of the rising sun.
This rising son is currently the cover star of Japan’s premier Dunk Shot magazine that reads backwards like the future and his name in neon bright lights for this big city. D.C. to the one famous for the worlds biggest Starbucks and Harajuku fashion girls that Gwen Stefani sang about, no doubt. And expect him to dunk home a shot for SLAM soon too.
Last night this writer currently living in Tokyo, Japan, trying to forge a career in language and teaching with hopes to make it to next Summer’s Olympics like your favourite Team USA or Canada player was flicking through channels as decipherable as this countries remote controls and came across a Bill Murray ‘Lost In Translation’ like game show that featured a mascot sized caricature costume of Rui playing air hockey (well if he doesn’t make it in hoops (he will)) with a man dressed in nothing but basketballs…that’s when you know you’ve made it.
Forever in this 21 moment, the 6 foot 9 inch, 230 pound heavyweight tweening power and small forward, Julius Erving Award winner from Toyama by the sea showed out in the NBA’s Summer League. Before being even bigger for Japan in this Summer’s FIBA World Championship. Cementing his and his countries place in the host nations Olympic next year with this young flame and his rising sun, red dot land looking to engrave rewrite even more history by the end of this season.
And now he’s in Washington taking more than a fast train to the former Bullet franchise he is the biggest thing-at least in height and Far East stature-about right now. Forming probably the last big three in the dynamic duo superteam era with the best backcourt in the association of John Wall and the real, deal Bradley Beal.
Make that trending legendary face now. Because if you think the WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne Washington Mystics are the only D.C. side winning this year then you must be playing. This Lincoln tall centre is about to pull something out of his Wizard top hat, bringing change like Obama.
Yes he can.
Forget the trumped up President, Washington now have something they can really shout about.
Murakami couldn’t write it better. Studio Ghibli couldn’t paint a more perfect picture with this moving castle.
Hachimura’s first name Rui means fortress and he’s about to build one in a Washington land of walls that needs a new monument. So whether H-Town or The 6 come up big in Japan by the end of this week, we know whose name will really belong in the electric billboards of the Times Square like Shibuya come next crossing. It’s the second Japanese born player to be drafted in the NBA since Yasutaka Okayama was selected by the Golden State Warriors way back in 1981 and the first in the first round, let alone the top ten…ever.
歴史 is about to be made…again.
Watch THIS Work! The WNBA Bets On Women
Ten years ago the motto of the Women’s National Basketball Association was to, ‘Expect Great’. Now a decade later and into the roaring 20’s of a whole new one and world, the league that tells you to watch them work truly has for all it’s worth.
The WNBA and CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) has reached a monumental moment in the leagues history and its time to read all about it on Los Angeles Sparks twin superstar Chiney Ogwumike’s Twitter thread.
It tells us the CBA means…
When it comes to players salary and compensation there will be a 30% increase to the salary cap as the higher max pay player salary jumps like Lisa Leslie’s first dunk from $117,500 to $215,000. Whilst there will be an additional compensation for those top tier Candace Parker players around $300,000. Moving millions this is thee first time the league has moved units like this in six figures. And like Russell Westbrook why not? Because for every player like him there’s an Ogwumike. For every Candace a LeBron. Every Luka Doncic a Breanna Stewart. Every Larry Bird a Sue. Kobe Bryant, Diana Taurasi. For every Michael Jordan a Lisa Leslie.
Every insufferable, couch potato chip, sexist fans who unlike a Suffragette doesn’t believe women deserves equal pay needs to check their pockets…yep like Rakim said that’s nothing but lint. Now paid in full these women deserve this and more like diversity at the Oscars. Just as good as the men like Michelle Wie (she’s not the logos sons wife people) golfing with the guys of you claim you’re “woke” on social media but can’t wake up to this then you’re about as woke as still in bed gone half 12 in the afternoon. It feels like all those trumped up people who had a problem with a female ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot. Or those old men who would rather bully a 17 year old girl with Aspergers online than believe in the actual happenings of climate change.
Sure there’s an argument that sportspeople shouldn’t be paid these ridiculous amounts of money. But the point is if the men get paid this much then why shouldn’t the women?
This should have happened a long time ago. But at least it’s happening now.
It’s about time.
Working mothers are also finally getting their due in a groundbreaking deal on this date. Players will receive a salary whilst on maternity leave with an additional new childcare stipend. Whilst up to $60,000 of progressive family planning benefits for veteran players for costs for adoption, surrogacy, oocyte cryopreservation, fertility and more. No longer will go hard greats like Skylar Diggins-Smith have to play whilst pregnant and hide it to protect herself whilst the CBA lists it as a “condition”.
Perks of the game that the men have had for years and the world class women deserve just as such also include individual hotel rooms for players, more mandatory leg room on flights (how important is this for basketball players? The NBA would cry personal foul if the King and them would be forced to fly economy), and further for the finances, off-season job opportunities with league partners that along with the salary rise will mean that WNBA players won’t, overplayed and underpaid have to go overseas in the off-season to earn more money to make ends meet in foreign leagues. Something which has been a conditioning condition and pay for play issue since the leagues inaugural inception.
And let’s not forget about the players mental health too in major improvements across the board and world to an issue still surrounded with stigma despite the lengths taken and measures made. More resources will be offered in addition to the adoption of a Nutrition Council that will aid peak performance by offering players a commitment to this optimization.
But it’s probably the stand made by the WNBA and the CBA against violence to women which is the most important. Ending domestic and all sorts of violence to women which has happened to players around the league and still happens everyday, effecting everyone needs to end NOW like it should have never happened. It seems like such a ridiculously obvious thing to say…but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said.
Again and again until we don’t have to.
The wide world has finally met the standards of the women’s game and league on the way to leveling the playing field. More of the same…do we really need to add the please now?
Betting on sporting events is a losers game. But betting on women-like the ones in this league-is a sure thing.
The game changed for real today.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander 20 Pts, 20 Rebs, 10 Asts first Canadian NBA triple-double since 2006
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Hamilton, ON) became only the second Canadian basketball player in NBA history to record a triple-double — and the first in nearly 14 years, since Steve Nash in 2006.
Gilgeous-Alexander racked-up 20 points, career-high 20 rebounds and 10 assists in the 117-104 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The former one-and-done Kentucky Wildcat continued his efficient campaign shooting 8-of-12 field goals, connecting 2-of-3 triples and 2-of-2 from the foul-line.
Steve Nash recorded three triple-doubles in his illustrious 18-year career, the last one on April 19, 2006 — Nash finished with 16 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds.
The 20 rebounds is also a record-high by a Canadian guard and only the second 20/20 double-double by a Canadian — Jamaal Magloire notched a 22 point, 21 rebound game against the Toronto Raptors’ on March 21, 2004.
Most rebounds by a Canadian in the NBA
Samuel Dalembert (Montreal, QC) holds the record for the most rebounds in a NBA game with 23 against the Golden State Warriors on March 20, 2009. Followed by Magloire 22 and Tristan Thompson with 21.
Gilgeous-Alexander becomes the youngest guard to record 20-20-10 stat-line and joins Russell Westbrook as the only guards with a 20-point, 20-rebound triple-double over the last 30 seasons. He is also the youngest player in NBA history with a 20-rebound triple-double, passing Shaquille O’Neal.
RJ Barrett became the first Canadian basketball player to record a triple-double at the NCAA level in nearly 35 years during his lone freshman season with the Duke Blue Devils.
The OKC Thunder continue their playoff push with their 18 victory in the last 25 games and currently sit in 7th place in the western conference.
The Canadian guard is currently averaging 20 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists — shooting 46.4% from the floor, 33.6% from three-pointers and 81.6% from the foul-line while turning the ball over just 1.9 per game.
Canada NBA All-Star Drought
The 2020 NBA All-star game in Chicago is less than month away and as it currently stands, Gilgeous-Alexander doesn’t currently rank as one the top fan vote earners in a guard heavy western conference. Nevertheless, the Canadian stud could end Canada’s eight year NBA all-star game drought by earning a coach’s selection.
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