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Yuta Watanabe on his fast start, his long road, Japanese heritage, and Kevin Durant, leader

Yuta Watanabe will miss his eighth straight game Sunday and there’s no word when he’ll be back. Still, the 6’9” 28-year-old has been a great pickup for Brooklyn. He’s shooting 55.6% from deep, 60.9% overall and playing everywhere on the court, even the 5.

Moreover, Watanabe is the face of Japan in the NBA where Adam Silver et al are pushing their product hard. Although Rui Hachimura of the Wizaards is also of Japanese heritage (and Cam Thomas was born on a US military base in Japan), it’s Watanabe’s jerseys that are the big seller back home, his social media accounts the most followed.