In a surprise last minute announcement, Jeremy Lin and Norris Cole were added to the pool of players available for Friday night’s
Rising Stars Challenge.
In past years the Rising Stars Challenge has been known as the Rookie Challenge, an even in which the league’s top rookies face off against the best 2nd year players in the NBA. This year, however the league has decided to take a page out the NHL’s All-Star game book by combining both the rookie and sophomore teams into one big pool and having a draft to decide who will be on which team. With this new concept in mind, the NBA opted to have two teams drafted by none other than Charles Barkley and Shaq.
In the end Jeremy Lin ended up on team Shaq and was actually selected fairly high considering he was such a late edition. Lin will now be a full-fledged part of all star weekend, participating in the Rising Stars challenge as well as possibly having a small role in helping Iman Shumpert out at the Dunk Contest.
Full teams for the Rising Stars challenge are as follows:
Charles Barkley’s team: DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves), Paul George (Indiana Pacers), Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers), MarShon Brooks (New Jersey Nets), John Wall (Washington Wizards), Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs), Evan Turner (Philadelphia 76ers) and Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs).
Shaquille O’Neal’s team: Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers), Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons), Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns), Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves), Jeremy Lin (New York Knicks), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats), Norris Cole (Miami Heat), Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons), Landry Fields (New York Knicks) and Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers).