Rui Hachimura benefits from being next to LeBron James

Years ago, Derek Fisher was a key contributor to the Los Angeles Lakers’ five NBA championships. He was great every day because he had the privilege of being on the court with Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol under Phil Jackson.

Today, Fisher is the head coach at Crespicamere High School in the San Fernando Valley and serves as a guest analyst for Spectrum SportsNet, a Los Angeles cable TV station that broadcasts Lakers games.

The Lakers are trying to return to glory this season, and that new title attempt began in January when they traded forward Rui Hachimura. He worked out closely with LeBron James this summer, and Fisher feels being around the four-time MVP and the entire organization will be helpful for the Japanese (h/t Lakers Daily ).

Via Sporting News:

“Rui has always had flashes that are consistent with what we’re seeing now,” Fisher told Sporting News.

“It takes time for players to mature and grow into the best version of themselves. But what I can tell you is my experience with guys who are considered to be some of the greatest of all time — like I was with Kobe Bryant. It was like being together, seeing Shaq’s dominance, seeing Phil Jackson’s coaching talent, watching (former Utah Jazz head coach) Jerry Sloan coach with his hard-nosed approach. Operations — when you’re surrounded by really good people, it’s definitely contagious.”

Although Hachimura’s performance has been up and down so far this season, he averaged 11.8 points in 23.3 minutes per game, shooting 50.5% from the field and 42.9% from three-point range.

“I think being around LeBron every day, seeing his greatness, seeing the greatness of Anthony Davis, feeling the pressure of ‘if we don’t win a championship, then nothing else matters’ with the Lakers, ” Fisher continued.

“As a player, I think it forces you to elevate the way you look at things.”

If the Lakers, currently 9-7, want to win their 18th NBA title this season, players other than James and Davis will need to continue to step up, especially early in games. Hachimura is a player who can bring impetus to the team’s offense, especially when James is off the court and he tends to defend James.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire

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