Rui Hachimura has been a shining light for the Lakers in their past two playoffs games against the Nuggets.
He played a key role in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals after scoring 21 points, two rebounds, one assist and a steal off the bench on 80percent shooting from the field.
The 25-year-old has been trying his best to lock up Nikola Jokic on defense.
“I’m just trying to be aggressive on both ends, especially [against] their bigs so for this series the coach has been telling me it’s going to be a big series for me so I was ready for this. We lost this game [though]. It was a tough one for sure,” Rui Hachimura said postgame.
With all of his great performances, it reminded ESPN’s Myron Medcalf of a hilarious story about the Japanese-born forward, who mistook the word dumbass as a compliment.
“One of my favorite Rui Hachimura stories is that one time he was in practice at Gonzaga and Mark Few said he’d made a ‘dumbass’ play. Hachimura, who didn’t speak much English then, smiled wide because he thought Few was comparing him to Domantas Sabonis who was nicknamed ‘Domas,’” Medcalf tweeted.
Hachimura went to Gonzaga University and played basketball there for three seasons before heading to the NBA where the Wizards drafted him as a first-round ninth pick.
This historic pick marked the first Japanese player ever drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft.
In January 2023, Hachimura was traded to the Lakers while to Wizards received for Kendrick Nunn and draft picks.
Since this trade, Hachimura has been a reliable player for the purple and gold and in the regular season he averaged 11.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 0.9 assists.
Read more: LeBron James Injury Update After Game 2