The NBA's rising star challenge is the first major event of the All Star weekend. Preceded only by the celebrity game, it's an opportunity to see tomorrow's stars. Starting in 2012, the game has been given an extra twist, with TNT analysts Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley hand-picking and coaching their respective rising star teams.
It's easy to write off the game as frivolity, until you dig a little deeper into the five-year history of the game. In each occasion the game's leading scorer has gone on to become a impact player in the NBA. Friday's game could have a new name added to the impressive list of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, DeMarcus Cousins, and Kyrie Irving. Five players, three of whom have already graduated to All Star status.
Headlined by Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis, both teams top-picks will look assert themselves as the association's best rookie. Davis has had an excellent rookie season, averaging almost a double-double -- however, it's Lillard who's been the rookie phenom, averaging over 18-points, it's easy to see why he was the first overall pick in the rising stars draft.
Unfortunately for Detroit Pistons' fans, they'll be unable to see Andre Drummond. The rookie will miss Friday's game with a stress fracture in his back.
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, TX
When: Friday, February 15th, 9:00 p.m. ET