All Blacks hang out with NBA stars James Harden, Russell Westbrook in Japan

Sam Whitelock gifted NBA player James Harden an All Blacks jersey and received a signed basketball in return.
HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES
Sam Whitelock gifted NBA player James Harden an All Blacks jersey and received a signed basketball in return.

Some of the All Blacks put their Rugby World Cup preparations on hold on Wednesday to check out the skills of visiting NBA team the Houston Rockets.

Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Sam Whitelock, Rieko Ioane, and Patrick Tuipulotu were among the players who watched as basketball superstars James Harden and Russell Westbrook warmed up on court. 

The US team were in Tokyo to open the NBA Japan Games. They took the court against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday and won 134-129. 

Rieko Ioane was among the All Blacks to hang out with the Houston Rockets during a training session in Japan.
HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES
Rieko Ioane was among the All Blacks to hang out with the Houston Rockets during a training session in Japan.

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TJ Perenara hung out with Houston Rockets' Russell Westbrook in Japan on Wednesday.
HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES
TJ Perenara hung out with Houston Rockets' Russell Westbrook in Japan on Wednesday.

The Kiwis - including Ben Smith, Angus Ta'avao, Jack Goodhue, and George Bridge - then spent time with the NBA stars talking and taking selfies at the training session. Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni also caught up with the All Blacks. 

Whitelock even gifted Harden an All Blacks jersey and received a signed basketball in return.

Ardie Savea and Patrick Tuipulotu met Tyson Chandler of the Houston Rockets.
HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES
Ardie Savea and Patrick Tuipulotu met Tyson Chandler of the Houston Rockets.

Savea and Perenara shared videos of the training session on social media. The All Blacks were visibly impressed by the skills of the NBA stars and were shaking their heads in amazement.

While filming a video of Westbrook, Savea could be heard saying "oh my god". 

The Kiwis then spent time with the NBA stars talking and taking selfies at the training session.
HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES
The Kiwis then spent time with the NBA stars talking and taking selfies at the training session.

During their days off, the All Blacks were taking in the sights and enjoying all Japan had to offer. From Sevu Reece's trips to Tokyo Disneyland to Beauden Barrett's rounds of golf, the team was enjoying their time away. 

 

 

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