Cavaliers rookies Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson are among 18 players who have been selected by NBA assistant coaches to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge Feb. 24 in Orlando as part of All-Star weekend.
The Rising Stars Challenge will feature a new format. In the past, rookies and second-year players have faced each other. This year, TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal will each draft a nine-man roster from a pool of 18 players. The draft will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 and aired on NBA TV.
The second-year players in the pool are Blake Griffin (Los Angeles Clippers), DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Landry Fields (New York Knicks), Paul George (Indiana Pacers), Gordon Hayward (Utah Jazz), Greg Monroe (Detroit Pistons), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio Spurs), Evan Turner (Philadelphia 76ers), and John Wall (Washington Wizards).
Irving and Thompson are joined by fellow rookies Ricky Rubio (Minnesota Timberwolves), MarShon Brooks (New Jersey Nets), Brandon Knight (Pistons), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs), Markieff Morris (Phoenix Suns), Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats), and Derrick Williams (Timberwolves).
The Rising Stars Challenge is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Feb. 24. It will be televised on TNT.