It takes a lot to become an NBA player.
You have to put in a lot of hard work and effort, spend a lot of time in the gym working on your craft, stay focused, stay healthy, and even have some luck.
But let’s not fool ourselves.
On top of that, you also have to be pretty tall.
That’s what happened with Los Angeles Lakers forward Rui Hachimura.
In a recent clip shared by the Lakers, the former Washington Wizards lottery pick admitted that he didn’t even like basketball at first.
Instead, he wanted to play baseball, and it wasn’t until he was 13 years old that he got into hoops.
Hachimura stated that his friends pretty much bullied him into playing basketball because of his height, adding that he didn’t think that sport was for him because he didn’t even want to run.
Shoutout to the kids that annoyed Rui into playing basketball at 13.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 26, 2023
Fortunately for him, he fell in love after just one practice, and the rest, as you know, is history.
He played a big role on Darvin Ham’s team last season, helping them mate a late-campaign postseason push.
He played the best defense of his career, and he looked comfortable within the offense as well.
Hachimura’s size and length allow him to play and guard multiple positions, even being capable of holding his own versus some centers.
There’s no wonder why his friends didn’t want him to waste that wingspan and athleticism, and props to them for the scouting.
He should buy them dinner at the very least.NEXT: Austin Reaves Recalls Memorable Russell Westbrook Moment