Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura will sit out final 2 games of FIBA World Cup
Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura, who is representing Japan in the FIBA World Cup, will sit out the final two games of the international tourney.
Per Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY Sports, Japan’s next two games have no bearing. Since Hachimura is experiencing some discomfort in his knee coupled with fatigue, he has opted to sit out.
Japan was winless in FIBA World Cup and next two games are for classification 17-32. Essentially meaningless games. Wizards and Hachimura don’t want this to become a lingering issue. Plus, he wants to play for Japan in 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) September 6, 2019
In a statement from the JBA via nba.com, it was a collective decision made by the national team, the Wizards, and Japan Basketball. Since training camp will begin in less than a month, it’s best for the 21-year-old to rest.
“While everyone had hoped for Rui to finish the World Cup with Team Japan, the Wizards and Japan Basketball believe it is best for Rui to not play the final two games and have a short period of rest before he must start NBA training camp with the Wizards which begins only three weeks from now.”
Hachimura, for his part, admitted that he’s learning more about his body. At this point, it’s best for him to take some time off in preparation for the long NBA season, as well as the 2020 Olympics which will be held in Tokyo.
“I love Team Japan. This was a difficult decision for the Wizards, Japan Basketball, and myself to make. I am still learning about my body and trust that the Wizards and Japan Basketball are doing everything they can to help me be the best I can be for the NBA season and the 2020 Olympics.”
Hachimura fans may have seen the last of the 6-foot-9 stalwart — at least for the FIBA World Cup. The good news is that the NBA season is right around the corner. Hachimura will be back on the hardcourt soon enough.