STAR-BULLETIN FILE / OCTOBER 2003
Kobe Bryant and the Lakers may not generate quite the buzz in Honolulu as they did in 2003.
Lakers’ return means
boost for UH
The athletic department figures to
make around $80,000 by hosting
the NBA team in October
The Los Angeles Lakers' return to Honolulu this fall will not only give local fans a taste of NBA action, but also figures to aid the University of Hawaii athletic department's finances.
The Lakers will hold training camp on the UH campus in October and play two preseason games against the Golden State Warriors at the Stan Sheriff Center. UH athletic director Herman Frazier estimated the department will make close to $80,000 by hosting the Lakers training camp and two exhibition games this fall.
The Lakers and Warriors open training camp on Oct. 4 and meet Oct. 11 and 12 at the Sheriff Center in the preseason openers for both teams.
Ticket information has yet to be announced.
Los Angeles announced its eight-game preseason schedule earlier this week and will hold training camp in Honolulu for the 11th time since 1988. The Lakers and Warriors last played here in 2003 and split their exhibition contests before sellout crowds.
Frazier said the athletic department receives revenue through a rental fee, expenses, handling fees and concessions by hosting the games. The school also makes money from parking fees.
While the Lakers work out at UH, Golden State will hold training camp on the Brigham Young-Hawaii campus in Laie.
The financial impact isn't as great for BYUH, but Seasiders coach and athletic director Ken Wagner said having NBA players on campus is a positive for his program as well.
"It's a chance for our players to see them play and practice," Wagner said. "I think they see people that are the best at what they do, and I think any time you see that, you can learn from them and set your goals higher."
The Warriors practiced in relative seclusion at the Cannon Activities Center in 2003 while the Lakers attracted a swarm of local and national media.
This year's camp will be hard-pressed to match the buzz generated during the Lakers' last visit, when Karl Malone and Gary Payton joined Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant on the roster.
Of that group, only Bryant remains with the team. He led the Lakers this season with 27.6 points per game, but the team finished 34-48 and missed the playoffs for the first time in 11 years.
Golden State also went 34-48 this season. Guard Jason Richardson led the Warriors with 21.7 points per game, followed by Baron Davis' 19.5 in 28 games with Golden State. Davis was acquired in February in a trade with New Orleans. Derek Fisher, who played with the Lakers in 2003-04, is now a member of the Warriors.
Golden State has the ninth pick in next month's NBA Draft, one spot ahead of the Lakers.
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