Lakers News: Rui Hachimura Taking Motivation From Shohei Ohtani’s New Contract With Dodgers

Originally published by LakersNation.com

No one is more excited about the offseason the Los Angeles Dodgers are having than Los Angeles Lakers forward Rui Hachimura.

The Japan native grew up playing baseball and loves the sport, throwing out the first pitch at the Dodgers game this past season.

What has Hachimura and Dodgers fans so excited though is that they signed not one, but two of Japan’s biggest baseball stars this offseason in Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

Ohtani’s contract is historic as it’s the biggest in sports history at 10 years and $700 million. A lot of the money is deferred, which is something Ohtani can afford considering how much he makes off the field as the undisputed best baseball player in the world.

Hachimura has a relationship with Ohtani that goes back years and he expressed excitement immediately after the two-way star chose to join him in L.A.

After seeing how big the contract was though, Hachimura expressed how proud he is of Ohtani, via Dan Woike of the L.A. Times:

“I’m proud of being Japanese as an athlete, came from there, grew up and came here to the U.S. to be in the NBA, the top league in the world,” he told The Times. “It’s different sports, but I’m in one of the biggest organizations in the world. The Lakers. And also him as well. Baseball. Top league. Dodgers one of the biggest organizations. As a Japanese, I’m really proud of him and happy for him. He actually motivated me.”

Hachimura spoke more about the similarities he shares with Ohtani and the motivation they can take from each other now that they are playing in the same city:

“He has my mind-set, always trying to be the best,” he said of Ohtani. “… I want to play here for a long time and be a part of this organization. We can motivate each other to be the best.”

Los Angeles has a huge Japanese population, so having guys like Hachimura, Ohtani and Yamamoto to root for is great for the city as a whole.

Ohtani notable attended a Lakers game a few years back when they played the Washington Wizards, who Hachimura played for at the time. Now that Hachimura is a member of the Lakers though, he will need to invite Ohtani out for another game sometime this season.

Lakers legend Kobe Bryant played role in Shohei Ohtani signing with Dodgers

Shortly after Ohtani signed with the Dodgers, it was revealed that Lakers legend Kobe Bryant actually played a big part in it. Like many others, Ohtani grew up idolizing Bryant, who was one of the few global superstars during his playing days.

As a favor to the Dodgers when they were recruiting Ohtani when he came over from Japan in 2017, Bryant filmed a personal video for the two-way star. The Dodgers never got the chance to show it to him then though, so they saved it for this time around and it reportedly was the highlight of the Dodgers’ pitch to Ohtani to come to L.A.

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No one is more excited about the offseason the Los Angeles Dodgers are having than Los Angeles Lakers forward Rui Hachimura.

The Japan native grew up playing baseball and loves the sport, throwing out the first pitch at the Dodgers game this past season.

What has Hachimura and Dodgers fans so excited though is that they signed not one, but two of Japan’s biggest baseball stars this offseason in Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto.

Ohtani’s contract is historic as it’s the biggest in sports history at 10 years and $700 million. A lot of the money is deferred, which is something Ohtani can afford considering how much he makes off the field as the undisputed best baseball player in the world.

Hachimura has a relationship with Ohtani that goes back years and he expressed excitement immediately after the two-way star chose to join him in L.A.

After seeing how big the contract was though, Hachimura expressed how proud he is of Ohtani, via Dan Woike of the L.A. Times:

“I’m proud of being Japanese as an athlete, came from there, grew up and came here to the U.S. to be in the NBA, the top league in the world,” he told The Times. “It’s different sports, but I’m in one of the biggest organizations in the world. The Lakers. And also him as well. Baseball. Top league. Dodgers one of the biggest organizations. As a Japanese, I’m really proud of him and happy for him. He actually motivated me.”

Hachimura spoke more about the similarities he shares with Ohtani and the motivation they can take from each other now that they are playing in the same city:

“He has my mind-set, always trying to be the best,” he said of Ohtani. “… I want to play here for a long time and be a part of this organization. We can motivate each other to be the best.”

Los Angeles has a huge Japanese population, so having guys like Hachimura, Ohtani and Yamamoto to root for is great for the city as a whole.

Ohtani notable attended a Lakers game a few years back when they played the Washington Wizards, who Hachimura played for at the time. Now that Hachimura is a member of the Lakers though, he will need to invite Ohtani out for another game sometime this season.

Lakers legend Kobe Bryant played role in Shohei Ohtani signing with Dodgers

Shortly after Ohtani signed with the Dodgers, it was revealed that Lakers legend Kobe Bryant actually played a big part in it. Like many others, Ohtani grew up idolizing Bryant, who was one of the few global superstars during his playing days.

As a favor to the Dodgers when they were recruiting Ohtani when he came over from Japan in 2017, Bryant filmed a personal video for the two-way star. The Dodgers never got the chance to show it to him then though, so they saved it for this time around and it reportedly was the highlight of the Dodgers’ pitch to Ohtani to come to L.A.

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!