Consistency is a hallmark of Reggie Warren’s successful basketball career.
Throughout his career, including a large chunk of it spent in Japan, Warren has consistently produced double-doubles. Getting 10 or more points and double figures in rebounds is what he’s done game after game, season after season.
On Saturday, the Kagawa Five Arrows power forward passed the 7,000-point milestone for his time in Japan. Before last season, he mostly played in the now-disbanded bj-league, which became a part of the B. League. (Starting in 2006, he’s suited up for the Five Arrows, Saitama Broncos, Kyoto Hannaryz, Rizing Fukuoka, Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix and, most recently, Kumamoto Volters in Japan.)
The University of West Florida alum is averaging 18.9 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 13 games (12 starts) for Kagawa (5-8).
In Saturday’s contest, Warren’s aforementioned feat occurred in an 89-75 loss to the visiting Fighting Eagles Nagoya. He had 16 points and 12 boards in the game.
In an exclusive interview with The Japan Times, the 36-year-old Warren reflected on his longevity in the game and what his sustained level of excellence means to him.
“It means that I am extremely blessed to be able to play this game that I love for this long,” Warren said. “It just shows all the hours I spent at the gym, on the track, in the weight room, etc. continues to pay off.
“I gave this game so much of my time, but the benefits and the return of the people I have met and places on this earth that basketball have taken me have (been) more than worth it.”
He added: “I’m just very thankful for God’s grace to allow me to continue to play this game at a high level and that I continue to have a passion for it.”
Like many players of Warren’s generation, all-time great Michael Jordan is a favorite. Warren called him his “basketball idol.”
Who else did he admire as a youngster?
“Also players like (Scottie) Pippen and (Dennis) Rodman for defense and rebounding,” he said. “I was definitely a (Chicago) Bulls fan growing up.”
Other players have impressed Warren and displayed talents that he’s tried to emulate.
“I also like the way Carmelo Anthony can score out of the jab steps and just his all-around scoring,” said Warren, who averaged 21.6 and 21.9 points during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons — two of his premier campaigns — for Takamatsu and Saitama, respectively. “I took a lot from his game.
“And also Kobe Bryant’s will to win the game.”