Rui Hachimura’s Lakers Debut Crashed The NBA’s Streaming Service In Japan And Fans Weren’t Happy

Rui Hachimura Los Angeles Lakers debut

Getty Image / Jevone Moore / Icon Sportswire

Rui Hachimura made his debut for the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.

In doing so, he became the first Japanese-born player to ever play for the Los Angeles Lakers. A momentous occasion that created tons of buzz back home in Japan.

The hype in Japan surrounding Rui Hachimura’s debut grew so big it actually crashed the Rakuten servers in Japan, the NBA’s streaming service there, and Japanese NBA fans were left unable to stream Rui Hachimura’s debut for the Lakers.

Rui Hachimura was recently acquired by the Lakers. LA sent Kendrick Nunn and three second-round picks to Washington in exchange.

According to a report in the Sun:

Hachimura had a strong game, ending up with 12 points and six rebounds and shooting 57.1% from the field to help the Lakers beat San Antonio 113-104.

But around the time of tip-off, NBA fans from Japan took to Twitter to complain they couldn’t watch their countryman in play because of NBA Rakuten’s crash. Rakuten has been the league’s exclusive live-game distribution partner since 2017.

NBA fans in Japan eager to see Rui Hachimura make is Los Angeles Lakers debut weren’t happy. They took to social media to express their displeasure.

One person on Twitter wrote “The only way to watch NBA in Japan is through NBA Rakuten and with the Rui Hachimura’s debut game coming up between the Lakers and Spurs, the site has crashed… so possibly no way to catch the game live here in Japan at this moment.”

Another commented that the Lakers are the biggest brand in sports. Saying “NBA Rakuten app crashed in Japan because of Rui Hachimura’s debut for the Lakers.”

After the game, Hachimura spoke about how big the Lakers are in Japan:

Eventually, Rakuten pivoted and streamed the game for free on YouTube in Japan.

Once Rakuten got its servers back up and running, it went back to its normal streaming selection.

Rui Hachimura was on the court for 22 minutes and put up 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 assist.