Wizards star Russell Westbrook’s impact on Rui Hachimura, revealed in 2 opposing plays
It didn’t take long for Russell Westbrook to establish himself as a leader and mentor for the Washington Wizards, especially to their younger players. The former league MVP is certainly having a massive impact on sophomore Rui Hachimura. The Japanese born forward admitted that Westbrook’s vocal leadership style has been very helpful for his growth and development.
“He’s very vocal,” Hachimura said. “I don’t know if it’s a bad thing but he talks a lot. But it’s helping me. He always tries to communicate with me, the team, the coaches. He does a lot of things for us, it’s not only on the court, but off the court, watch film and stuff together. We have a lot of young guys and we’re still learning a lot of stuff. As young guys, including me, it’s helping.”
Here is an instance of Westbrook and Hachimura’s teacher-student relationship:
enjoyed this sequence…
1) Rui Hachimura turns the ball over in the post
2) Westbrook pulls him aside in huddle and coaches him up
3) His first play out of the timeout, Rui applies the teachings to similar situation and gets free throws pic.twitter.com/3aq1SgDydq
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) March 18, 2021
As you can see, the nine-time All-Star gave the 23-year-old some tips after the latter fumbled the ball in the post. Hachimura quickly learned from Westbrook’s teachings and applied it when he found himself in the same situation later in the game.
Westbrook, now a seasoned veteran, has taken this opportunity in Washington to help youngsters like Hachimura and Wizards rookie Deni Avdija. He has definitely done an incredible job to take them under his wing:
“It takes time when you get to a new team and get an opportunity to learn about a person, not just about basketball,” Westbrook said of his leadership style. “Like I’ve said before, leadership starts off the floor, on the court I may see things that can help him out. For me, I want to leave an imprint on people that I meet.”
The Wizards just pulled off a massive upset over the Utah Jazz, the team with the best record in the NBA. Westbrook dropped a massive triple-double in the 131-122 win, going for 35 points, 15 rebounds, and 13 assists. Meanwhile, Hachimura had a solid outing for himself, notching 12 points and seven rebounds in the Thursday night victory.