How about Jeremy Lin throwing ally-oops to Blake Griffin?
You got it. Thanks to a late add by the NBA and some drafting prowess by Shaquille O’Neal, Lin and Griffin will be playing together the Friday night of All-Star weekend at the Rising Stars Challenge (formerly the Rookie/Sophomore Game).
Lin was not on the original list of invitees — put together and announced before his run the last couple weeks — but when it came time to pick team’s for the event on Friday, “commissioner” Kenny Smith was given the power to add two players.
He added Lin. Which is something we at PBT had suggested the league needed to do. Norris Cole also got added.
You had to know the NBA would do this — they are too smart at marketing to leave their hottest player on the sidelines during their biggest weekend.
Rather than rookies vs. sophomores this year, a group of 20 first and second year players were thrown in a pool and drafted playground style (one at a time) by TNT personalities (and former All-Stars) Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley.
Team Shaq vs. Team Chuck.
Here’s how it shakes out:
Team Shaq: Blake Griffin (Clippers), Jeremy Lin (Knicks), Ricky Rubio (Timberwolves), Greg Monroe (Pistons), Markieff Morris (Suns), Kemba Walker (Bobcats), Landry Fields (Knicks), Norris Cole (Heat), Brandon Knight (Pistons), Tristan Thompson (Cavaliers).
Team Chuck: Kyrie Irving (Cavaliers), DeMarcus Cousins (Kings), Paul George (Pacers), Derrick Williams (Timberwolves), MarShon Brooks (Nets), John Wall (Wizards), Gordon Hayward (Jazz), Tiago Splitter (Spurs), Kawhi Leonard (Spurs), Evan Turner (76ers).
Predicting an exhibition game is futile. But first glance, in a wide open game without defense…. I’ll take Team Chuck.
The game is Feb. 24, a Friday night, live from Orlando. You can watch it on TNT. (And PBT will be at All-Star Weekend giving you all the coverage you can handle.)