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Jeremy Lin to participate in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge 2012

BBVA Rising Star ChallengeA last minute addition to the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge 2012 pool was made by ‘honorary’ commissioner and basketball analyst Kenny Smith.  It’s none other than the extremely popular  New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin who is averaging as a starter, 22.4 points, 8.8 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.2 treys per game.  With his popularity going viral overnight, the increased media coverage and the potential revival of an Asian-descent superstar – this choice has been embraced across the whole NBA fan base (well except Floyd Mayweather).  Norris Cole, the rookie Miami Heat point guard who hounded Lin to a sub-par outing yesterday, was also added to to even the field at 20-players.

As with the Rookie – Sophomore games of the past few years, the pool of players was selected by NBA assistant coaches.  But for this year, instead of pitting rookies and sophomores against each other a new twist was added by letting them play with each other courtesy of a ‘draft’.  This is a new format wherein TNT analyst and former NBA players Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley will handpick the team.  Team Shaq won the toss coin and the selection process is as follows (with Team Chuck picking alternately):

Team Shaq

  1. Blake Griffin
  2. Jeremy Lin
  3. Rick Rubio
  4. Greg Monroe
  5. Markieff Morris
  6. Kemba Walker
  7. Landry Fields
  8. Norris Cole
  9. Brandon Knight
  10. Tristan Thompson

Team Chuck

  1. Kyrie Irving
  2. Demarcus Cousins
  3. Paul George
  4. Derrick Williams
  5. MarShon Brooks
  6. John Wall
  7. Gordon Hayward
  8. Tiago Splitter (replaced by Derrick Favors due to injury)
  9. Kawhi Leonard
  10. Evan Turner

Expect highlights from Team Shaq courtesy of Griffin with Lin or Rubio setting the big man up for alley-oops.  The other bigs like Monroe and Walker can offer thunderous dunks and stopping power, and expect Cole and Knight to show their play-making skills as well.

Team Chuck is not to be outdone with last year’s Rookie-Sophomore Game MVP John Wall and top pick Kyrie Irving, with both being a scoring point-guard.  Slam Dunk contest participants, George and Williams, could show some highlight moves as a precedent to the highlight event.  While the shooters like Brooks and Hayward will show the basics.

BBVA Rising Star Challenge
About John Luther Garcia