Throughout the Clippers’ weeklong journey in China, will provide an inside look at what players are saying about their experience. Below is the first in a series of first-person stories about the trip.

Grant Hill disembarks the plane in Beijing, China

Veteran forward Grant Hill has traveled to Beijing and Shanghai with his family, but never as part of the NBA’s China Games. Here is what Hill said after practice about the flight from Los Angeles to Beijing as well as what he would suggest for some of his teammates who are first-time visitors (as told by Eric Patten).

I managed to survive the flight. I tried to sleep early and stay up during the latter part of the trip. When we got in, I was able to go to bed at a reasonable hour and get a good night’s sleep, so I survived it. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow. There’s always that second and third day that seems to give you trouble. I just wanted to make sure I could sleep through the night that first night.

The flight overall was great. It was the entire Clipper team and organization and staff. We had the plane to ourselves and it was funny at different times I’d wake up and it was like ‘Soul Plane,’ the party was going on. Then I’d go to sleep and wake up and everybody was knocked out. Over the course of the 13 or 14 hours you were able to get both extremes.
I think the flight and this whole experience is a good opportunity for bonding. It gives us a chance to hang out a little bit more and spend time, see the sights, see all that there is to see here in China collectively as a group. We have a lot of new faces, so the more time we can spend with each other away from the court, I think the better it will be for our overall production on the floor.

I’ve been to Beijing and Shanghai before, so the Great Wall is obviously something you have to see to really see how impressive it is. I would encourage that. I think the silk markets here in Beijing are one of a kind. Pretty much everything is there. You can negotiate and buy some neat things at an affordable price. In Shanghai, there’s so much to do. We’re not going to be there as long, but there’s always some good shopping. I tried some of the authentic food when I ventured out last time and really had a good experience.

If time permits, I would encourage my teammates to just get out of the hotel. It’s not often you’re going to get a chance to come over here and I think we all want to take advantage of seeing as much as we can. And that’s what I would encourage, just get out of your room, even if it’s going for a walk. There’s so much to see, so much culture, so much history, it’s an amazing place.