Many great NBA players in history have had the ability to make the players around them better, and that’s exactly what LeBron James and Anthony Davis are doing with Rui Hachimura, five-time Lakers champion Dereck Fisher says.
“Rui’s kind of always had flashes of what we’re seeing on a consistent basis now,” Fisher told The Sporting News.
“It takes time for players to mature and grow into the best versions of themselves. But what I can tell you is from experience of being around guys that are considered one of the greatest to ever do it — the way I was with Kobe Bryant, seeing Shaq’s (Shaquille O’Neal’s) dominance, seeing Phil Jackson’s coaching brilliance, watching Jerry Sloan operate with his hard-nosed approach to coaching — when you’re around guys that are really really great, it is definitely contagious.”
Hachimura and LeBron were working out together during the offseason, and Fisher thinks that being around the league’s greatest all-time scorer and a skilled veteran like Anthony Davis is doing wonders for the Japanese native.
“I think being around LeBron on a daily basis and seeing his greatness, seeing Anthony Davis’ greatness, being in the Lakers organization and feeling the weight of, ‘If we don’t win a championship then nothing else really matters,’” Fisher continued.
“As a player, I think that kind of forces you to elevate how you look at things.”
The 25-year-old has played in 12 games for the purple and gold so far this season, where he has averaged 11.8 points and 3.8 rebounds per game in just under 23 minutes of playing time.
He stepped up during the postseason last year, and no doubt will be an instrumental part of the Lakers’ success in 2023-24 alongside his mentors LeBron and Davis.