Yuta Watanabe of the Memphis Grizzlies has been getting some small amounts of burn lately, which means that the battle between Rui Hachimura and Yuta Watanabe for the title of “Best Japanese NBA Player” is actually a battle. It’s not much of a battle, but it is a battle because both combatants are active and involved, even if one is armed with a plastic fork with tortillas for armor and a pile of sticks for a fortress, while the other one is armed with a wide array of firearms, armored with a titanium exoskeleton, and huddled in a fortified base that has a McDonalds and a Cinnabon right inside of it.
I’ll leave you to figure out who is who in this ultra-complicated metaphor of mine.
I don’t pay enough attention to foreign basketball leagues to know if there are any other Japanese players who have any hope at all of competing against Hachimura when it comes to relevance in the NBA. Hachimura is already relevant and he’s only a rookie. Imagine how relevant he’s going to be in a few years. Any up-and-coming Japanese player has a high bar to clear just to make it in the NBA, much less reach the amount of success that Hachimura is bound to have.
Is Robert Swift a nationalized Japanese citizen yet? Can he make an NBA comeback? Or did he turn into a meth hobo?