Wizards

Wizards

CHICAGO -- One day after scoring 14 points in a strong performance in the Rising Stars game, Wizards rookie Rui Hachimura was getting effusive praise from one of the best players in NBA history.

Lakers All-Star LeBron James was asked about Hachimura at media day in Chicago and he went on and on about how impressive Hachimura has been so far in his first season.

"I think he's a really talented player," James said. "Tall, good strength to him, good feel for the game. Very poised."

James has clearly been paying attention to Hachimura, as he noted his recent injury absence. Hachimura missed about seven weeks due to a groin injury before returning not long before the All-Star break.

Hachimura, 22, was the ninth overall pick in the 2019 draft. He has adapted quickly to the NBA, averaging 13.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game this season.

James believes Hachimura was prepared well for the professional ranks during his time at Gonzaga.

"You can tell he spent some years in college to develop his game. That definitely helps when you get to this level. I think he's going to be a really, really good player in our league," he said.

On Friday night, Hachimura became the first Japanese-born player to participate in the Rising Stars game, and he played well. On Saturday, he was being lauded by one of the league's biggest stars. Not a bad weekend for the Wizards rookie.

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