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.
Friday The 13th Lucky For Lakers 13th Straight Win
Unlucky for some, Friday the 13th seemed to be a lady for the Lakers today in a scorching heated matchup between Los Angeles, California and Miami, Florida. As the purple and gold took home their 13th straight win on the road with an 113-110 win by the beach.
Foreman-Ali, Tyson-Holyfield. That’s how LeBron described this heavyweight bout between his old and new team that had a playoff atmosphere and was Anthony Davis concurred “fun”. But it really was a boxing match slugfest for the belt as at first it looked like The King hadn’t taken all his talents back to South Beach. Until former N.O. dynamic duo Davis and DeMarcus Cousins twin towered him. Grading him at an A- and telling him to get back to taking everyone to school.
And oh how did he.
In this ring Jimmy Butler’s 23 was serving right hooks all night and fans on Twitter low blows, below the belt (can the guy not have one bad day (or just half in all actuality) at the office without you showing him the cardboard box like ‘Jerry Maguire’? Have you not seen what he’s done in year 17?! YEAR 17 PEOPLE! Father what?). Down went The King. Down went The King. But like falling down seven times. He got up again like the 8th wonder (word to one more in number 24 as I sit typing this in Kobe, Japan wearing a number 23 Lakers jersey…because I’m just that type of guy). And he got up swinging. All the way to a T.K.O. in the American Airlines Arena he formed Voltron with the big three of the ready for the rafters, one last jersey of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who he hugged pregame with so much love. “You good? You good?” He asked. Concerned about his friend and court legends health like we all are. Great to see you looking so well CB4.
The Heat’s undefeated homestand came to an end on this court canvas, as city for city these two teams of sunshine states styled out, live and in living colour. Miami in those Crocket and Tubbs turquoise Vice Editions that have you rolling up your sleeves and L.A. in those M.D.E. Shaq sized affairs against the team the Diesel refuelled was traded to, that are real gold in California like his slamming STAPLES statue.
But as the King went from the gallows of seven first half turnovers to a final coronation of 28 points, 12 assists (you see that tap pass that was vintage Magic from the Point King?) we all know who the real Laker and Heat legend was this night.
No decision about it.
From washed King to those spin cycle moves that rinse you. Washing his hands with all those refreshed timelines.
But how about all the slamming like Shaquille and stuff from A.D. too? As long range as LeBron from the beach let alone downtown too. And that goaltend from the D.P.O.Y. too though. Those type of plays count in different ways. And Davis’ line of a Kareem 33 points for a double, double with 10 rebounds was as sure thing automatic and reliable as the white tee under his jersey (I’ve just ordered mine in the Black Friday sale. It may aswell come with a lack of white tees because of A.D. and well I’m white and thinner than the hair that used to be uptop my crown).
Big man X-factor JaVale McGee also showed up sky-hook, lay-up line and alley-oop and one sinker finisher with that muscle flexing, screaming passion. Oh and 9 points, 10 rebounds and “hand me the Defensive Player Of The Year award” 5 blocks.
Those weren’t goaltends.
In the end it was just too much dynamic duo. Too much Bradley back to give the already deep Lakers more water (again just wait until Cousin relates even more than his advice at the half) and too much Alex Carushow, looking literally like an NBA Jam character pregame. Check the Lakers Twitter timeline. “He’s on fire”! Must be how he got that cut.
The Lakers are playing beautiful basketball right now. This is history. Like Shaq and Kobe, Magic and Kareem, Wilt and West, Mikan and those specs. Savour it.
As James Worthy clapping and lighting the cigar for this big game tweeted, “putting up 113 on Friday the 13th equals 13th straight Lake Show win”.
It’s all about the numbers 42.
Lucky for us.
Fun Guy Gets His Ring
“What it do baby!”
It may have taken longer than his Game 7 buzzer beating, playoff series winning shot against the Sixers, circling around the rim to process. But the board man finally gets his ring. As Kawhi Leonard was welcomed back to his world of the 6’s Jurassic Park for a ring reunion. Returning as a Clipper to his Raptor home in Toronto for more Star clippings.
But in the end against the Canadian champion who are surprisingly still so in contention good without him, it was all L.A. his way.
Kawhi Leonard had 23 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 ring and a partridge in a pear tree this Christmas season, as the L.A. Clippers beat the Toronto Raptors (taking it back in uniform and court to their 1995 expansion inception like the dream of cousins Carter and McGrady running a dunk contest night in and night out), 112-92.
And T-Dot just wish they could take it back to last Summer man.
But as Kyle played ring bearer to Kawhi pregame it was this moment of championship matrimony that kept Leonard and Lowry together like these two K.L.’s in initials ’til death do them part.
This brotherhood bond was bigger than it all this night…even basketball. Especially this basketball game. Even if 6 God Lou Will also added 18 and 8 assists against his former Raps club. To go along with Maurice Harkless’ 14, Paul George’s 13, 11 from the Patrick’s of Beverley and Patterson and 10 from Montrezl Harrell for this balanced diet of an attack.
But if your two feet want to talk about balance. T.O is like T.D. too as they know how to eat well with everyone getting their share for their plate at the table this festive season with all the statistical trimmings.
Most Improved to Defensive Player Of The Year’ and team MVP Pascal Siakam had 24 for this 48 minutes worth of shot clocks even though the Clippers lead by as many as this. Whilst equally impressive Norman Powell added 22. OG Anunoby matched P.G. for 13 to go along with Terrence Davis 10. Whereas Spaniard Marc Gasol rounded out the rest of the Raps with 9 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists.
But with the ovation all standing for a jumbo jumbotron tribute we all know which Raptor this night was for. All to his crowd roaring success as the whole arena sounded like a Tyronasaurus paddock…let alone a Raptor enclosure.
It was perimeter fence electric. 100,000 volts Tim!
The Klaw was back in the house of claws…if only for a night to rule the earth like when the dinosaurs did.
Welcome back to Jurassic World.
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