The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge is an exhibition game that will be played during All-Star Weekend featuring the best rookies and sophomores in the NBA. The pool has been named earlier on Wednesday. Here are the names that were selected.
Harrison Barnes (Golden State Warriors), Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards), Anthony Davis (New Orleans Hornets), Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte Bobcats), Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers), Alexey Shved (Minnesota Timberwolves), Dion Waiters (Cleveland Cavaliers), Tyler Zeller (Cleveland Cavaliers).
Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), Chandler Parsons (Houston Rockets), Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers), Nikola Vukevic (Orlando Magic), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats).
It’s strange not to see Isaiah Thomas of the Sacramento Kings not in the pool. Thomas is averaging 11.3 points and 3.2 rebounds for the Kings this year and those stats certainly seem good enough to be in that group. Ricky Rubio and Derrick Williams of the Minnesota Timberwolves were also left out. Rubio is not in full form because of a torn ACL he suffered last year. Williams has been in and out of the line-up for the Wolves.
Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley will pick out of the pool of players in this game as they are the “general managers” for this exhibition game. The head coaches of this game are the lead assistant coaches in the All-Star game.
Kyrie Irving also made it to the All-Star team. Don’t expect him to play too much in this game. Irving won the MVP of last year’s Rising Stars Challenge game.
The Rising Stars Challenge used to be known as the Rookie Challenge. It has changed many formats in the past including pitting the league’s best rookies against the league’s best sophomores. But the point of this game is to showcase the young talent of the NBA. This game started in 1994.
The Rising Stars Challenge will be played on Friday, February 15, during All-Star Weekend in Houston.