LeBron James Rui Hachimura Lakers
LeBron James Rui Hachimura Lakers Source: Sporting News

LeBron James has been training all summer with his new student, Rui Hachimura. The Gonzaga kid really impressed everybody last season. He improved a lot in the previous postseason. The Los Angeles Lakers really needed him to score coming off the bench. It was essential to prove that the LA side had a solid reserve bench ready to attack at any moment. That’s what the Japanese talent did last season. He proved that he can score from beyond the arc, and also he can dunk whenever necessary. Moreover, the Lakers always needed a solid big man.

There, they have Rui Hachimura and Christian Wood alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Moreover, Rob Pelinka mentioned Rui Hachimura had been through a personal renaissance since he joined the Lakers. As per Pelinka, Hachimura came alive as a player again after joining the Lakers. Moreover, the Gonzaga kid thanked LBJ after training with him all summer. Later, King James called Hachimura “Daniel-San” to his own avatar of “Dr. Miyagi.”


LeBron James Uses The Karate Kid To Give Rui Hachimura His New Nickname

Rui Hachimura LeBron James Lakers
Rui Hachimura LeBron James Lakers Source: Getty Images; Heavy.com

According to Ham and Pelinka, it was intentional that James and Hachimura would train in the summer. But after training for so long, Rui Hachimura expressed his gratitude toward LeBron James on X (formerly called Twitter). In response, LeBron James tweeted a gif from the Hollywood Classic, The Karate Kid. According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, LeBron James calls Rui Hachimura “Daniel-San,” and he is “Mr. Miyagi” to the Gonzaga kid. Now, does that mean King James made Hachimura mow his lawn or drive his kids to school? Funnily enough, mowing his lawn might help in transition defense.

It would be great but weird to see if LeBron James possesses the power to heal any injury as he rubs his hands together. But if LBJ possesses that power, he should help himself and Anthony Davis so that they can play all 82 games next season. It is no wonder James is not as healthy and athletic as he once was. But he sure can run fast and jump high enough, even at 38. He’ll be 39 next December. But if Rui Hachimura shows a lot of growth and maturity after training all summer with LBJ, then the King might not have to carry too much workload in the 2023-24 season.

Lakers Have A Lot Of Faith In Rui Hachimura

Rui Hachimura Lakers
Rui Hachimura Lakers Source: NBC Sports

The Gonzaga kid became very important for the front office to retain ahead of the last free agency. Moreover, the LA side made sure he was a restricted free agent. Later, on Day 1 of the free agency, Rob Pelinka and Co. resigned him for a three-year extension worth $51 million. However, there is no confirmation yet if Darvin Ham will use Rui Hachimura in the starting lineup. But the Lakers Head coach mentioned that they will tinker with the rotation because they have such depth and balance.

They’ll try to figure out the best possible lineup in the training camp. On the other hand, both Ham and Pelinka praised LeBron James for taking Rui Hachimura under his wing. Throughout the summer, Hachimura attended the 7 a.m. workout with the King. Darvin Ham added that LBJ calls Hachimura his “Understudy.” It will be interesting to see how much it helped the former Washington Wizards forward after training with King James.