Wizards aim to prevent Hachimura burnout in Japan originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
WASHINGTON — After the Tokyo Olympics last summer, where he was a front-and-center representative of Japan, Wizards forward Rui Hachimura became so overwhelmed he needed to take a break. That break ended up lasting half of the Wizards’ 2021-22 season.
With the team set to play two exhibition games against the Warriors in Japan on Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, the Wizards are aiming to prevent the same from happening again. Wizards president Tommy Sheppard outlined some precautions the team and Hachimura’s agency, Wasserman, are taking ahead of the international showcase.
“We’ve done a great job. His management staff and his agency have already done most of the legwork to getting all the necessary photoshoots [and] anything that’s going to happen out of the way so he can get there and focus on basketball. Certainly, there will be some exchanges and an opportunity for him to get in front of his fans,” Sheppard said.
Hachimura will also try to knock out his interviews with the media before the trip. According to Sheppard, it will be the first time Hachimura has returned to Japan since the Olympics.
Hachimura should be a central ambassador for the NBA during his time in Japan, but he won’t be alone in sharing the spotlight. The Warriors are coming off winning the championship and feature Stephen Curry, one of the game’s best and most popular players.
This upcoming season will be an important one for Hachimura. He is entering the final year of his rookie contract and could be in line for a big raise next summer.
Both Sheppard and head coach Wes Unseld Jr. were complimentary of how Hachimura has looked in recent weeks at the Wizards’ practice facility in the leadup to camp.
“I think he’s in a great place,” Sheppard said.
“Just watching him in the open runs, he’s playing with an air of confidence that is remarkable,” Unseld Jr. added.
Unseld Jr. said he has “huge expecations” for Hachimura in what will be his fourth NBA season. Unseld Jr. was hired to coach Washington last summer, so his best frame of reference for…
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Author : NBC Sports Washington
Publish date : 2022-09-20 21:10:00
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