The absence of Rui Hachimura has been a mystery since the current season began. At first, the Washington Wizars did not give any explanation for the loss of the Japanese forward, who did not appear at training camp. Faced with questions about his whereabouts, the franchise finally communicated that Hachimura was separated from the group for personal reasons that they preferred to keep in privacy. Luckily, he has been training with his teammates for a long time and yesterday he played with the Wizards again after more than six months without doing so.
During this time, some voices proclaimed that the pressure undergone to represent his country in the Olympic Games in which he was hosting had taken its toll on the player. Especially, being of African descent and the standard-bearer of a country as racist as Japan.
However, there is nothing official or indications that end up pointing to a specific reason beyond needing a break due to the tight schedule suffered in the last year and a half. He himself has wanted to avoid giving explanations in his first appearance. He preferred to stick to showing how happy he was for his return. “It has been great. I was waiting for this moment. I needed time out, but I’m very happy to be back out there to play with the boys » He said visibly excited.
He played 14 minutes in which he contributed six points to the victory of the Wizards who cut a two-game losing streak against Orlando. His coach Wes Unseld Jr. also showed his satisfaction with the player’s return. “Honestly, he has done very well. It has been aggressive. It gives us that physique that we sometimes need. I’m looking forward to seeing how it evolves », he declared at a press conference.
(Photo courtesy of Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images)