HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Although much of the highly anticipated pre-season NBA game between the Clippers and the Rockets has been about who’s not playing, one NBA star is dead set on giving Hawai’i fans a show.
The Houston Rockets held their first practice in Honolulu earlier this afternoon and Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni was adamant that former NBA MVP James Harden will play tomorrow against the Los Angeles Clippers.
“He’ll probably play 25 minutes,” said D’Antoni following Wednesday’s practice at Iolani School. “He loves to play and he’ll be there for sure.”
Earlier this week it was announced two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, NBA All-Star’s Paul George and Russell Westbrook all would not participate in Thursday’s game at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Although NBA fan favorite Russell Westbrook won’t play in the pre-season game, Hawai’i is a place he and his family look forward to coming to while on vacation.
“I was just here in the summer-time with my family,” said Westbrook. "It’s good to be back here, and I’m happy to be back in Hawai’i.
With three of the games four biggest players not suiting up for action, James Harden believes it’s his responsibility to put on a good performance for Hawai’i hoop fans.
The opportunity to bring NBA basketball to a fan base that doesn’t get a chance to experience the NBA year-round is something Harden takes pride in.
“I’m excited for them to get an opportunity to watch NBA basketball,” said Harden. “I’m excited to get out of our comfort zones and come to Hawai’i and bring NBA basketball, because people here don’t have that luxury, we are going to give the fans a show.”
The Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers will tip-off at 7:00 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Tickets can be purchased here.