Monday, January 4, 1999
wont play here
Michael Olowokandi, the No. 1 pick in the 1998 National Basketball Association draft who was taken by the Los Angeles Clippers, has cancelled plans to be among 16 NBA standouts playing in exhibition games tomorrow and Wednesday nights at Blaisdell Arena.
Instead, the 7-foot-1 center out of Pacific University will arrive in Italy tomorrow and sign with European club champion Kinder Bologna, a spokesman for the team said.
The deal includes an escape clause that would allow Olowokandi to return to the NBA if the lockout ends.
"We're betting the NBA season won't start," Kinder spokesman Marco Angrisani said.
Angrisani said Olowokandi's deal gives the player until Feb. 15 to return to the NBA.
Olowokandi was believed to be signing for $3 million, with $1 million payable even if he exercises his out clause and returns to the U.S. Feb. 15.
The exhibition teams playing in Hawaii will be coached by Shaquille O'Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers and Shawn Kemp of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The other players participating are Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs, Sam Mitchell of the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sean Elliott and Chuck Person of the Spurs, Bobby Jackson and Nick Van Exel of the Denver Nuggets, Dale Davis, Mark Jackson, Chris Mullin and Jalen Rose of the Indiana Pacers, Detlef Schrempf and Sam Perkins of the Seattle SuperSonics, John Starks and Marcus Camby of the New York Knicks and Rasheed Wallace of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Tip-off is 7:30. Tickets are scaled from $65 to $30. They are available at the Blaisdell box office (591-2211) and all Connection outlets, or charge-by-phone at 545-4000 and 1-800-333-3388.
Part of the proceeds go to charities.