John Wall vs. Brandon Jennings. Serge Ibaka matched up on Blake Griffin. DeJuan Blair against DeMarcus Cousins.
Those would be facinating matchups if any of those players really cared about the NBA All-Star Rookie/Sophomore game (formally called the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge). But alas, they don’t, still we should get a few highlights. Wall lobbing ally-oops to Griffin certainly has potential. Still, as this is treated as a defense-less exhibition, watch at your own discretion on Friday night (Feb. 18).
Here are the teams for the game:
Sophomores: Tyreke Evans (guard, Kings), DeJuan Blair (forward, Spurs), Stephen Curry (guard, Warriors), DeMar DeRozan, (guard, Raptors), Taj Gibson (forward, Bulls), Jrue Holiday (guard, 76ers), Serge Ibaka (forward/center, Thunder), Brandon Jennings (guard, Bucks) and Wesley Matthews (guard, Trail Blazers).
Rookies: Blake Griffin (forward, Clippers), John Wall (guard, Wizards), Eric Bledsoe (guard, Clippers), DeMarcus Cousins (forward, Kings), Derrick Favors (forward, Nets), Landry Fields (guard, Knicks), Wesley Johnson (guard, Timberwolves), Greg Monroe (center, Pistons) and Gary Neal (guard, Spurs).
The rookies will be coached by Spurs lead assistant coach Mike Budenholzer with help from Amar’e Stoudemire and Kevin McHale. The sophomores will be coached by the lead assistant from the top team in the East — Boston will wrap that up tonight — helped by Carmelo Anthony and Steve Kerr. That way Anthony can talk to the sophomores about getting out of their contracts in a few years. Really teach them the tricks of the trade.
Last season, for the first time ever, the rookies beat the sophomores. This time we’d say the rookies have a real chance… if we thought anyone really cared about the outcome.