Before training camps get underway, NBA teams held media day on Monday, providing ample interview and photo opportunities.
New coaches and players were in the spotlight throughout the league, including former George Washington University standout Yuta Watanabe.
In Tokyo, meanwhile, Watanabe’s media day photo, showing him wearing his No. 12 Memphis Grizzlies jersey, was displayed on Train Channel News.
Speaking to the local press in Memphis, Watanabe expressed gratitude to his father, Hideyuki, and mother, Kumi, for encouraging him to pursue his goal of playing basketball overseas.
“They are always supportive, and when I say I want to, like, go to the U.S., a lot of people said it’s going to be tough,” said the left-handed shooting Watanabe, who went undrafted after being chosen as the 2017-18 Atlantic 10 Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year. “And my family was always supportive. They said you can do whatever you want and chase your dreams.
“I’m really grateful for that.”
Watanabe is nursing a sore left shoulder, according to multiple published reports. Camp begins on Tuesday.