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Wayne Arnold First Blog - Feb 11, 2016


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EUROBASKET CENTER
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Wayne Arnold
I've never done a blog before so bare with me. I came to Japan (BJ League) in January on a short term contract, basically a tryout with the Shiga Lakestars. Before I get into this, I'm gonna give a little bit of history on my career in this league. Back 2 back champion, guard of the year, 6th man of the year, led the league in 3pt percentage, led the league in points per minute, 4 final four appearances, and I've played here for 5 seasons. With that said, you could understand my frustration when a team says they want to bring me here on a tryout. But being that I've always carried myself as a professional, I understood because of the import rule and the need for bigger players.

So over the weekend we split our 2 game series against a team that we should never have lost to. What's even more, we lost by 25 on the 2nd night, smh. It was very disappointing, to say the least. It felt like we were the worst defense in the league playing against the Golden State Warriors. The game got out of hand pretty quickly. I had a decent game though, scoring 19pts in about 20mins of play. Most would be satisfied with those numbers but me, I'm about winning, but not only that, winning the right way. I never felt we have been playing the right way as a team. Between missing defensive assignments and poor execution on offense....I've felt that the games we've won were simply because we were more talented.

Fast forward to Monday morning, I get a call from the team manager saying the president wants to meet with me about either extending or terminating my contract. Low and behold, this turns out to be an exit meeting. Yea, your boy got the axe....never thought that would happen. But adding injury to insult.....not 1 of the local players or even the head coach attempted to reach out to me and say goodbye or good luck or anything of that nature. It felt like a slap in the face. But wait, the head coach was the assistant coach on my first championship team, so we've known each other for years. Of course, I spent time with the other 2 imports, and the assistant came to holla at me, the team manager spoke with me, and then 1 of the locals (just met him when I got here) reached out to me via FB. Enough of that, "now what?!"

All Monday and most of Tuesday I'm going through it. "I've never been cut before, is my career winding down, is this how it ends, I'm about to turn 32, who's looking for a 32yr old guard that's just been cut and has been playing in Japan for the passed 5-6seasons?" Mentally, I was crushed.....until my agent called with a few offers from other teams around the league. One of those teams, Niigata, coached by the same guy I won back 2 back titles with. 1st thought, "let's do it!!" Although I'm taking a major pay cut, I couldn't pass up this opportunity.

We have a naturalized African big man on this team that can play as a Japanese guy. If you know anything about Japanese, you're NOT gonna find many tall guys in this country. With there only being 2 imports on the floor at a time, we are damn near cheating. 2 true bigs and me at the guard spot. Talk about redemption. It's amazing how God works. One door closes, but now the garage is open. All that frustration from my last situation will be let out against any and everybody in my quest for another title. It's time for some getback! I'll holla at y'all soon.  



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Learning Curve- Apr.3, 2016  (by Eurobasket Center)

It's been a few weeks since I've last posted and during that time our team has slipped a bit. As an organization, I feel we started to believe the hype. This is the type of thing that can happen when you're not used to being the favorite. Also, this big red target that these posts are painting on our back probably isn't helping either. But hell, easy wins aren't as satisfying as hard fought victories. But I would assume that we are no longer the favorite, but honestly I have no idea. Over... [read more]
Asia-Basket.com All-Japanese WJBL Awards 2016- Mar.18, 2016  (by Eurobasket Center)


Finals MVP: Ramu Tokashiki (191-F/C-91) of JX-Eneos S.;
Player of the Year: Ramu Tokashiki (191-F/C-91) of JX-Eneos S.;
Guard of the Year: Rui Machida (161-PG-93) of Fujitsu RW;
Forward of the Year: Ramu Tokashiki (191-F/C-91) of JX-Eneos S.;
Center of the Year: Maki Takada (183-F/C-89) of Denso Iris;
Defensive Player of the Year: Aya Watanabe (170-G/F-92) of Mitsubishi K.;
Coach of the Year: BT Toews of Fujitsu RW;
1st Team:
PG: Rui Machida (161-PG-93) of Fuj
[read more]
Where I go from here?- Mar.1, 2016  (by Eurobasket Center)

I'm 6 games in with my new team and to say the least, I'm still very excited about the possibilities. We've gone 6-0 since I've been here and we've been climbing in the standings. We've gone from 5th to 2nd. Things are looking great and will continue on this path as long as we continue to build our team chemistry. There are still things I need to learn about my teammates as well as them learning about me. With that said, so far so good. On a personal note, over the 1st 6 games I've playe... [read more]
Wayne Arnold First Blog Feb.11, 2016
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