Washington Wizards rookie forward Rui Hachimura will sit out the final two World Cup games for Japan because of fatigue and knee discomfort.
“While everyone had hoped for Rui to finish the World Cup with Team Japan, the Wizards and Japan Basketball believe it is best for Rui to not play the final two games and have a short period of rest before he must start NBA training camp with the Wizards, which begins only three weeks from now,” the Japanese Basketball Association said in a statement released by the NBA team.
The Wizards selected Hachimura, a product of Gonzaga, with the ninth pick in the NBA draft in June. He was born and raised in Japan.
Hachimura had just four points on 2-for-8 shooting in Japan’s 98-45 loss to the United States on Thursday.
“I love Team Japan. This was a difficult decision for the Wizards, Japan Basketball, and myself to make,” Hachimura, 21, said in a statement. “I am still learning about my body and trust that the Wizards and Japan Basketball are doing everything they can to help me be the best I can be for the NBA season and the 2020 Olympics.”
—Field Level Media