Suns News

Yuta Tabuse Fact Sheet

Suns guard Yuta Tabuse became the first Japanese-born player in the NBA.
(Barry Gossage/NBAE Photos)
Posted: Nov. 8, 2004

Phoenix Suns point guard Yuta Tabuse is already making his mark in NBA history. As the first Japanese player in the NBA, and with less than a week behind him as an official Suns team member, Yuta has already set an all-time record regarding player page views, acquired one of the top selling jerseys in the league and received national and international attention.

Yuta will continue his NBA career in front of 32 international media during the Suns' November 6 game at New Jersey. Countries being represented by international media include Japan, Italy, Austria, Spain, Brazil, France, Poland and Serbia and Montenegro, as well as two Japanese TV Networks (NHK and Fuji TV Japan).

Media Interest

  • In his NBA debut on November 3, Tabuse scored 7 points and played 10 minutes in the Suns 112-82 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. 33 media members from Japan attended the game, including game broadcasts by NHK and TV Tokyo. In New Jersey, 32 international media have applied for credentials.

    Internet Impact

  • Yuta Tabuse set a record this 2004 NBA preseason for daily views to a player page receiving nearly 40,000 page views on Monday, November 1 (marks more than double the previous 2004 NBA preseason high set by the Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant).
  • On November 2, Tabuse received more than 23,000 page views to his NBA.com player page, ranking first among all NBA players. Last year, Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James and LA Lakers Kobe Bryant received the most views of their player page with more than 15,000 page views.
  • On Monday, November 1, page views to NBA.com/japan increased by more than 220% when similarly compared to the day before the NBA season tipped off last season.

    NBA.com/japan launched in June 1999 and is one of NBA.com's nine language-specific international destinations for fans. Page views and visits to the Phoenix Suns web site, suns.com, increased by more than 315% and 125% respectively, when compared to the day before the NBA season tipped off last season.

    Consumer/Jersey Information

  • Yuta Tabuse jerseys - available through the Phoenix Suns web site suns.com, the NBA Store at NBA.com, America West Arena and through retail stores - have already become one of the top three selling jerseys on the Phoenix Suns. Tabuse jerseys are also available via the NBA Store on NBA.com in Home, Road and Alternate for both Replica and Authentics.

    Headlines from around the World

    Sports Dailies:

  • "Tabuse, the splendid achievement on the NBA court as a Japanese basketball player!" -- Tokyo Chunichi

  • "Historical NBA debut! Tabuse Yuta net 7 points, 1 assist." -- Daily Sports (Tokyo)

  • "A standing ovation! First Japanese player debut." -- Sports Nippon (Tokyo)

  • "The shocking 10 minutes! Tabuse got 7 points." -- Sports Houchi (Tokyo)

    Mainstream Coverage:

  • "Tabuse has already earned a reputation with sports writers as level-headed and determined." -- The Daily Telegraph (London)

  • "Six countries are represented on the Suns' roster, including rookie guard Yuta Tabuse as the first player in the league from Japan." -- Philadelphia Daily News

  • "The Phoenix Suns' Yuta Tabuse, 5-9 and 165 pounds, is the NBA's first Japanese player. Tabuse's nba.com page drew more traffic Monday and Tuesday than any other player page, and visits to the league's Japanese-language site rose 220%." -- USA Today

  • "Tabuse nets 7 points in first game." -- Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo)

  • "Tabuse scored seven points in his debut Wednesday." -- Los Angeles Times

  • "Yuta Tabuse became the first Japanese-born player in an NBA game, scoring seven points as Phoenix's backup point guard in a 112-82 victory over Atlanta on Wednesday night." -- The Toronto Sun

  • "Yuta Tabuse came into the contest with 10 minutes left to become the first Japanese-born player to play in an NBA game. The 5-foot-9 point guard scored seven points, including a 3-pointer that put Phoenix up 100-64 with 4:58 to play." -- Associated Press

  • "Ran! Scored! Tabuse had a good performance in his debut." -- Asahi Shimbun (Tokyo)

  • "5-9 guard Yuta Tabuse entered with 10 mins left, becoming 1st Japanese-born player in NBA, scored 7." -- Chicago Tribune

  • "The 175cm Tabuse, who models himself on Hall of Famer Earvin "Magic" Johnson, was told by Suns coach Mike D'Antoni that he had made the cut as Phoenix's third point guard." -- Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia)