NBA script leaked: Rui Hachimura spin-off series coming next season

Rui Hachimura (Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
Rui Hachimura (Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports) /

Wondering why everyone is talking about Rui Hachimura even though the Lakers are down 2-0? The NBA script leaked and he’s getting his own spin-off series.

Sometimes, even on the best-made television shows, you can see the seams, the places where the production bleeds into the narrative. The crime procedural introducing a guest star in the cold open who is just a little too famous not to end up being the killer. The character who has to be killed off because the actor or actress who plays them has become a star was cast in the newest blockbuster movie. Or the character who unexpectedly moves into a central role, setting up a departure and a spin-off built around them the following season.

Some NBA fans like to joke about the league being scripted like a WWE event, with the commissioner as a puppet master, pulling the strings of referees, mysteriously unexplained injuries and even dramatic runs of hot or cold shooting to propel a chosen storyline.

Game 2 between the Nuggets and Lakers certainly had a scripted feel. LeBron’s dramatically flubbed dunk could be foreshadowing a bitter ending for our chief protagonist, or setting the stage for a shocking comeback and reversal of fortune. Made 3-pointers on five consecutive possessions for the Nuggets and 23 fourth-quarter points for Jamal Murray brought an arc of mini-redemption to the game’s final moments.

And then there is the way Rui Hachimura’s story has unfolded.

NBA script leaked: Spin-off series starring Rui Hachimura has to be coming

If the playoffs were a scripted television drama it would seem pretty obvious that the NBA was priming the pump for The Rui Hachimura Show to debut in 2023-24. The Lakers lost Game 1, but his defense on Nikola Jokic was the biggest talking point that came out of that game. He followed that up by scoring 17 points in the first half of Game 2, shooting a perfect 7-of-7 from the field, 1-of-1 from beyond the arc and 2-of-2 from the free throw line. Roll that in with his hot series against the Grizzlies and Warriors and he’s now shooting 60.7 percent from the field in the playoffs and 18-of-33 (54.5 percent) from beyond the arc.

Heck, we even got him confidently trolling the Nuggets’ defense in an interview right before the half.

Now, for all his signature moments in these playoffs, the Lakers are still in an enormous hole and could be facing elimination at the hands of the Nuggets. But that fit the script too — if he leads the Lakers to victory then this would become his show. The NBA scriptwriters are making him just interesting enough for us to build an emotional connection with him. When the Lakers lose, the stage is set for him to exit with a massive offer sheet in restricted free agency and begin his own series in … I don’t know … Detroit? Utah?

And if this Rui Hachimura script all feels a little clumsy and hackneyed, it’s probably because the real NBA scriptwriters are WGA members and on strike right now.

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