WASHINGTON – Rui Hachimura looks set to have a large role in his rookie season as part of the Washington Wizards with the coaches often running him with their likely starters on Tuesday, the first day of training camp.
The 21-year-old Japanese said he is excited to be finally getting down to “spirited” workouts with his new team, but that one or two things proved a little confusing.
“There was a random reference to fines (being made by his teammates), like if you are called for charging they are saying that’s a $100 fine,” Hachimura said with a smile.
“I guess they were serious, but I should check on that.”
Hachimura spent a lot of time on court with Bradley Beal, the team’s only All-Star last season, and with a number of other likely starters, indicating the coaching staff is looking to integrate him with that group.
“I guess that was the case,” he said when it was pointed out to him. “I wasn’t really aware of that, actually, but since voluntary workouts last week I was always paired with Brad, so I feel like we are developing some chemistry.”
Beal said the emerging Japanese player has been impressive so far but that he has some way to go yet.
“He is attentive, he works hard,” the team’s star shooting guard said. “A lot of things are probably moving a little fast for him, but he’s okay. He is going to continue to pick things up on the fly. He is a valuable piece to us.”
Head coach Scott Brooks hinted that not too much can be taken from one day of practice, but was nonetheless upbeat in praising Hachimura’s effort, energy, unselfish nature and athleticism.
“Today was a great first day for him,” he said. “I thought he played pretty well, pretty comfortable.
“I am sure I am going to say the same things all year long because I think that’s who he is.”