Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge--more commonly known as the Rookie/Sophomore Game--tips off Friday at 9 PM Eastern at Amway Center in Orlando. TNT will provide the telecast in the United States.
In prior seasons, a team of rookies would battle a team of sophomores in a contest that typically makes the All-Star Game look like a defensive struggle. For the 2012 festivites, however, the NBA changed the format, naming a pool of the league's top rookies and sophomores and having TNT analysts Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley select the teams in a live draft.
Blake Griffin, the reigning Slam Dunk champion and Rookie of the Year, headlines Team Shaq as the only All-Star to participate in this year's contest. Team Shaq also features rookie point guard Ricky Rubio, arguably the league's best lob passer, as well as second-year sensation Jeremy Lin.
Team Chuck includes John Wall and Kyrie Irving, the athletic point guards who were the top overall choices in the 2010 and 2011 NBA Drafts, respectively. Wall earned MVP honors in the 2011 game in Los Angeles by scoring 12 points and dishing a record 22 assists as the Rookies defeated the Sophomores, 148-140.
For more on the 2012 Rookie/Sophomore Game, please make the jump.
|NBA All-Star Weekend 2012|
|BBVA Rising Stars Challenge|
|February 24th, 2012|
|Norris Cole||G||MarShon Brooks|
|Landry Fields||Paul George|
|Brandon Knight||Kyrie Irving|
|Jeremy Lin||Kawhi Leonard|
|Ricky Rubio||John Wall|
|Blake Griffin||F||Derrick Favors|
|Markieff Morris||Gordon Hayward|
|Tristan Thompson||Evan Turner|
|Greg Monroe||C||DeMarcus Cousins||Out - Injury|