Rising Stars BBVA Challenge

The Rookie-Sophomore game has changed up a little bit this year. Usually, in years past, it would be a group of the best second year guys facing off against a group of the best rookie players so far. However, this year the NBA changed it up a little bit. Instead of Rookies vs. Sophomores, this year, the NBA had Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal be the managers of the two teams and they drafted their teams. This mixes Rookies and Sophomores onto the same team and should make it a little more interesting, especially with as big of personalities as Shaq and Chuck drafting and managing the teams. They also decided that “Linsanity” couldn’t be possibly left off the rosters, so they added Lin and rookie Norris Cole to the mix. Beforehand, Shaq was heavily favored as I’m sure most viewers figured Shaq at least had a decent of idea of what he was doing. Shaq even joked that he was the “black Pat Riley.” Here are both squads:

  1. Team Shaq                                                                                                 2.  Team Chuck
  • Blake Griffin, LA Clippers                                                                             Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Jeremy Lin, NY Knicks                                                                                  DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
  • Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves                                                     Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves
  • Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns                                                                     Paul George, Indiana Pacers
  • Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats                                                             MarShon Brooks, NJ Nets
  • Landry Fields, NY Knicks                                                                             John Wall, Washington Wizards
  • Norris Cole, Miami Heat                                                                               Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76ers
  • Brandon Knight, Detroit Pistons                                                                 Gordon Hayward, Utah Jazz
  • Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers                                                  Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
  • Greg Monroe, Detroit Pistons                                                                      Derrick Favors, Utah Jazz

Shaq took no time at all in taking Blake Griffin with his first overall pick and then Chuck surprised by taking Kyrie with his first pick. I think Shaq did a nice job by teaming Lin and Rubio with Griffin because I think they fit nicely together. However, I think Chuck has a more versatile team and I don’t understand why Shaq decided to draft Morris so early. When watching it, it looked like he just threw a name out there because of the clock expiring. I would like Shaq’s team a lot better if he would have picked John Wall ahead of Morris, Walker, and Fields, but for some reason both guys let Wall slide until Chuck finally took him with one of his last picks. The last four picks of the draft were randomly drawn and Derrick Favors was an injury replacement for Tiago Splitter.

When looking at both rosters, I feel like this could be a very close and entertaining game. Ultimately, I like the versatility of Chuck’s team and really like the backcourt of Irving and Wall as they are two of my favorite players in the league. I also think that Wall might come out attacking and playing with a chip on his shoulder after being passed up so many times. So, in conclusion, I’m going to have to pick “Team Chuck” as the winner of this exciting game. What do you guys think?


About norton0723
I'm 22 years old and absolutely love sports and fantasy sports, especially basketball, football, and baseball. I love to play basketball as well and play in a few leagues. I'm going to school right now and taking sports management and accounting classes. Follow me on twitter (@norton0723) and check out my personal blog as well ( http://thephantasyfenom.blogspot.com/view/magazine )

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