Through the first month of the season, as I watched Rui Hachimura humiliate defenders again and again with his hesi pull-up midrange jimbos (you won’t know what I just said unless you REALLY hoop), my enthusiasm for a Rui Hachimura midrange-ilation was increasing by the day. Hachimura wasn’t on pace to break any records or anything (Carmelo probably holds the “rookie midrange makes” record), but he WAS on pace to hit well over a hundred middy jimmies. The pull-up from free throw distance was quickly established as his signature shot and it seemed like he could get it any time he wanted.
Why, then, does this video only depict 49 midrange jumpers? I think there’s a few reasons.
First, Hachimura simply didn’t play enough games. He was getting nearly thirty minutes per game for the Wizards, which is a lot of playing time for a rookie, but he only appeared in 41 games, half the expected 82 from a full-length season. If he had played a full slate of games, he would have probably reached the mythical “100 midrange jumpers” milestone, but he was prevented from doing so by a groin injury and by Rudy Gobert sneezing into Donovan Mitchell’s box of Cheez-Its.
The overall COVIDing of the NBA resulted in lower-than-expected totals for everybody. It’s sort of like a lockout year in reverse where future stats nerds will just have to take it into account when comparing players between seasons. But Hachimura’s injury was something else, a more localized tragedy specific only to him.
Now, I don’t know what a “groin contusion” is, but it sort of sounds like he just took a foot to the nards. What I’m imagining is him limping back to the locker room, pulling off his shorts, and seeing his two…um…thingies…dangling way farther apart than they should have been. Cue an ambulance ride and an emergency surgery to reunite his…thingies. Every week that Hachimura spent in the hospital doing thingie rehab was a week that he should have been on the court splashing jimbos over his neutralized defenders.
Second, Hachimura’s midrange attempts went way down after the All-Star break. While editing this video I got the distinct feeling that he replaced the jumpshots with floaters from the same spots on the floor. Since Hachimura is clearly blameless in this whole situation, I’m going to make a not-so-bold assumption here and say that it was the fault of the Wizards’ coaching staff.
I don’t even know why the coaches would bother to try to coach when the ‘Zards obviously weren’t making any noise this season. The great thing about NBA players is that they’re perfectly capable of freezing somebody out of the offense if they put their mind to it. If Hachimura was attempting too many midrange jumpers, there would have been corrective action on the court without the coaches even saying a word. Scott Brooks meddled with this organic process by specifically telling Hachimura, “If you take any more of those midrange shots I’m going to deport your ass back to Japan.” That was, frankly, a blunder on his part.
Third, people did not donate enough funds to my Patreon. I would have used those funds to start a “Rui Hachimura Midrange Jumper Awareness Fund” that could raise awareness for the fact that Hachimura needs to shoot at least ten midrange jumpers per game. What, and you thought that all that Patreonbux was going right into the DTB PopTart fund? Well, it is, but only because I didn’t get enough donations to cover the registration fees “ruihachimuramidrangejumperawarenessfund.org” and pay for web hosting.
So, there you have it. Due to circumstances outside his control, Rui Hachimura only made 49 middy jimmies. And while I admit that my enthusiasm for this project waned slightly when I saw what was transpiring, the end product is actually pretty sick. Watch it and you’ll get a taste of what Hachimura will be doing in the league for years to come.