All-Star, NBA / Feb 8, 2012 / 4:00 pm

Blake Griffin Leads All-Star Weekend’s Rising Stars

Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin, Dime #62

We all know Blake Griffin is a rising star, but today it was announced the All-Star starter is one of 18 chosen for the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend in Orlando.

The Rising Stars Challenge is a switch on the former Rookie/Sophomore game, though it was still voted on by assistant coaches. Now, they’ll be mixed together with Charles Barkley and Shaq choosing and coaching the teams. Each squad gets nine guys.

Here are the players on the list:

Other second-year players: DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento), Landry Fields (New York), Paul George (Indiana), Gordon Hayward (Utah), Greg Monroe (Detroit), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio), Evan Turner (Philadelphia), and John Wall (Washington).

The rookies are led by No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving of Cleveland, and joining him will be Ricky Rubio (Minnesota), MarShon Brooks (New Jersey), Brandon Knight (Detroit), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio), Markieff Morris (Phoenix), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland), Kemba Walker (Charlotte), and Derrick Williams (Minnesota).

I think I can speak for a majority of NBA fans when I say, please let Rubio and Griffin be on the same team.

Who did the assistant coaches leave off?

The Challenge’s draft is Feb. 16, on NBA TV at 7 p.m. ET, with the game on Feb. 24.

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  • nige

    Kenneth Faried needs to be there. he is very entertaining to watch in these types of games.
    If Wall, Walker and George end up on the same team this could be a lot of fun to watch.

  • heckler

    i really liked the idea of the rookie/sophomore game.
    i really dont see a reason switch it up to this format.
    with the rookie/soph format, you actually got to see quality young players two years in a row; once as rooks and then again as sophs. i liked that the teams werent made of east/west but instead made up of 1st yr/2nd yr. you got to see players of the same class team up.

    with this new format, it’s doubtful you will see a player repeat from one year to another.

    the rook/soph game was ALWAYS entertaining to me.

    this new format is not necessary.
    go back to the rooks/sophs format.

  • heckler

    (P)enis canter didnt make the draft?

  • @


    You’re still just as likely as before to see the rookies play again during their second year, they just wont necessarily play with the same teammates both years.

    At least this way, if two standout stars from the same draft class play the same position, they have the possibility of being on different teams and getting ample playing time.

    However, there is the chance that the sophomores on each team will get more playing time than the rookies, so the weaker rookies may lose out a bit.

  • deagletime

    Second years will crush the Rooks

  • ooh

    no shumpert. :[

  • IC

    Linmania v. Wall. 40 mins/25/7/7!!!

  • John

    they need to switch back to rookies vs sophs ASAP

  • trollne1

    No Jeremy Lin? Just kidding.
    Get Rubio and Griffin on the same team – that’s the only reason I could think of why the NBA switched to this new format.

  • yentron

    if they kept the old format it wouldn’t have been close, sophs in a blowout

  • shuttles

    Agree with heckler. Liked the rookie vs. soph thing. Think they played harder because they were representing their class, whereas this will be completely meaningless.

  • Fw

    Jeremy Lin.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    It’s always meaningless until the last few minutes (if it’s still close on the scoreboard). I don’t think guys cared THAT much about representing their class, and the physical/mental/stamina/experience advance of the sophs is almost always too much for the rooks to overcome.

    My only beef with this format is why use Shaq and Barkley? Those two are already gonna be all over All-Star Weekend and it’s highly likely they’ll just use this as another opportunity to make themselves the center of attention; the NBA could use this Rising Stars game to shine a light on some other old-school players. Get the hometown crowd interested by using Dennis Scott and Penny Hardaway or Nick Anderson. Bring in some underappreciated guys like Alonzo Mourning or Mitch Richmond. Never helps to widen your pool of “legends” to use for marketing purposes later.

  • shourjo

    Totally agree with Austin in that the choice of Shaq and Charles is suspect. Would have been nice if they got some revered hoop minds like Jack Ramsay and Hubie Brown, tho I’m sure Hubie will be calling the game as always (which is fine, he is excellent). Would have been more interesting to do, as Austin says: get two local guys with history in the hosting franchise.

    This event has been my favorite part of ASW for a while, it’s just great to see the L’s young talent all in one place.

  • goattree

    I agree, already seen enough of Shaq and Charles.

    My question is, where is Jonas Valunciunas on the list?!?!?