Wizards’ Hachimura delighted to play first game this season: “I missed the feeling”

May 31, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, United States; Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8) reacts after a first-half game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 4 of the 2021 NBA Playoff Round 1 at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

As the long wait is finally over at the Washington Wizards hub side, Rui Hachimura is only grateful that he has once again made his way onto hardwood.

Indeed, after ending his long break and playing Sunday his season debut against the Orlando Magic, the Japanese sensation is delighted by the energy of NBA basketball.

“It was awesome,” Hachimura said of his comeback, via Washington Post’s Ava Wallace. “I was waiting for this moment. I had to take some time off, but I’m so happy to come back on the pitch and play with these guys. I missed the feeling.

Although he played in minimum time, Hachimura provided power and a boost on the bench, scoring 6 markers and 3 boards in 14 minutes. As such, head coach Wes Unseld is impressed and has bright visions for the young striker ahead of the game.

“Physically he looks great,” Unseld Jr. told reporters, via team insider Quinton Mayo. “He’s been back with us for a while. It’s time.”

“His 3 point is superb, which is an added dimension to his game. He gives us the ability to activate 1-4 defense – sometimes playing a little five ball. “

Hachimura, the ninth overall pick in the 2019 Draft, has not been available for the Wiz since the Tokyo Olympics where he served under his home country basketball team. During his leave of absence, issues with mental health and racism were cited as central factors in his temporary break from the franchise.

But now that he’s re-preparing for Washington, it’s uplifting to see that he’s now determined to play and grow as a rising star. His presence will be truly appreciated as the Wizards now see an unexpected drop as the ninth seeded team in the East.

The DC Ball Club will return home to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday.

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