Washington Wizards center Jaime Echenique only played three minutes last night in Washington’s win 110-93 over the Cleveland Cavaliers. He only played three minutes in garbage time and didn’t record a single stat besides minutes. But by playing last night, Echenique also became the first Colombian player to play in an NBA game.
And regardless of whether a player becomes an all-time great like Michael Jordan or an “end-of-the-bench” player for a year, making the NBA is a very difficult feat. It’s an honor for anyone to make it to the best men’s professional basketball league in the world.
After the game, Echenique was in postgame media where he answered questions by both the local media and Spanish-language media where he was emotional and in tears at several points. He mentioned that his journey to the NBA came after suffering a torn patella tendon injury last January while playing in Spain. And he calls his NBA debut one “hell of a year, best way to close the year.”
Jaime Echenique let his emotions pour out last night after becoming the first Colombian player in NBA history. I highly recommend watching this. It's what sports are all about. pic.twitter.com/HAHfKJMJ2R— Chase Hughes (@ChaseHughesNBCS) December 31, 2021
He also mentioned that his debut is something for his country and town in addition to himself.
For his people.— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) December 31, 2021
For his city.
For his country.
For South America. @jaimeechenique made history last night as the first Colombian-born player to play in an NBA game. #DCAboveAll | @NBALatam pic.twitter.com/ozUMH4zdBr
Echenique is currently on a 10-day hardship contract with the Wizards. Hopefully, we’ll get to see some more game action from him now that the first game jitters are out of the way.