HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Los Angeles Clippers officially arrived in Honolulu yesterday ahead of hosting a pair of exhibition games against the Houston Rockets and Shanghai Sharks at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Clippers held their first practice early this afternoon in Manoa.
Los Angeles head coach Doc Rivers told the media after practice that their training camp in Hawai’i is a trip the organization looks forward to every year.
“I love the beach, I love the waves and the ocean," said Rivers. "I like everything including the food, and I love this facility, this is perfect.”
The Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets matchup was shaping up to be a star studded affair as the pre-season game would potentially feature four of the NBA’s biggest stars.
Tickets for the game sold out instantly across the state when the exhibition was announced but today at practice coach Rivers said not to expect the team’s newly acquired Two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and NBA All-Star Paul George in uniform when the team takes the court this week.
“Its a long journey as far as were concerned," said Rivers. “We do appreciate the fans support they’ll be in the building, but all of them are not going to play.”
Both players have a history of injuries in the past, and the Clippers organization is looking to reduce their usage in the pre-season as a precaution moving into the regular season.
For many players on the Clippers current roster this pre-season trip to Hawai’i is their first experience visiting the islands, for Paul George it is not.
The NBA star played at the Stan Sheriff Center a pair of times throughout his collegiate career with the Fresno St. Bulldogs.
“We always had tough games in this arena,” said George. “They had a pretty good fan base for the most part and it was always good memories playing here.”
Former NBA MVP James Harden participated in the Rockets first preseason game earlier this week so fans could see him in action on Thursday, but it it still unclear whether Russell Westbrook will play as he continues to rehab from surgery to his right knee.
The Clippers and Rockets are scheduled to tip-off at 7:00 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Tickets for Sunday’s exhibition against the Shanghai Sharks are available here.