Washington Wizards sophomore Rui Hachimura reveals what he calls Russell Westbrook, stats and numbers explain why.
The Washington Wizards are not having the best season so far. After having a shaky 6-19 start to the season, they seem to have stabilized a bit and improved to 17-29.
It’s still not good enough for a playoff berth, but they’re just 2.5 games behind the 10th seeded Bulls. If they manage to make it till the 10th spot, they can try their hand at the play-in games.
For the above-mentioned case to happen, the Wizards would need production from more than just Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook. This is where Rui Hachimura and the others kick in. In his 2nd year, Hachimura has shown noticeable improvement and is becoming a force in the paint.
Rui Hachimura calls Russell Westbrook ‘senpai’
Russell Westbrook may not have had the expected impact on winning as expected, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t affected the Wizards team in other ways.
Russ has been known to make players around him better, and to be an excellent teammate. An example of the same is how he has helped Rui Hachimura become a genuine threat in the paint.
Hachimura acknowledges the same in the name he calls Westbrook. Rui calls Russ ‘senpai’, which is a Japanese word for senior or a leader.
Rui Hachimura says he calls Russell Westbrook ‘senpai,’ which means ‘senior’ or ‘leader’ in Japanese.
— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) March 31, 2021
Rui has been averaging 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game while shooting 52.8% from the field and 40.6% from deep in the last 10 games. Russ has been constantly working with him, both during games and practice, and keeps giving inputs as to how the 23-year-old can improve.
Rui has already had 8 games scoring 20 or more this season, which is a step up from the 3 such games he had last year. If Russ keeps working with Rui, and keeps guiding him, Hachimura can turn out to be a force to be reckoned with.