The Rising Stars Challenge will feature an epic clash between TEAM CHUCK and TEAM SHAQ at the NBA's All-Star Weekend.
Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal drafted their respective teams on Thursday night on the NBA Network. 'Twas a silly event.
Their teams are listed below, complete with some colorful commentary.
Update: Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7:35 p.m. ET
Here are the picks for TEAM SHAQ and TEAM CHUCK:
|Pick||TEAM SHAQ||Pick||TEAM CHUCK|
|1||Blake Griffin||1||Kyrie Irving|
|2||Jeremy Lin||2||DeMarcus Cousins|
|3||Ricky Rubio||3||Paul George|
|4||Greg Monroe||4||Derrick Williams|
|5||Markieff Morris||5||MarShon Brooks|
|6||Kemba Walker||6||John Wall|
|7||Landry Fields||7||Gordon Hayward|
|8||Norris Cole||8||Tiago Splitter|
|9||Brandon Knight||9||Kawhi Leonard|
|10||Tristan Thompson||10||Evan Turner|
You know what? I don't think Shaq has enough point guards.
I'll say this about Shaq's team: It's going to be fun to watch. One can only imagine what kind of craziness is going to take place if Griffin, Lin and Rubio are all out on the court at the same time. We could see some epic ball movement and an epic alley-oop.
The one thing that worries me about Shaq's team is that it could use some shooters. Morris can shoot it pretty well, but the rest specialize in other things.
Then again, I guess you don't really need shooters in All-Star exhibitions; you need dunkers and showoffs.
Chuck's team is considerably more balanced. It's almost as if he put some actual thought into his picks before he made them. He'll be able to put an actual balanced lineup out on the floor at any given moment, as opposed to four points guards and a forward.
Will that translate into an automatic victory?
Heck no. That would imply that there's some kind of exact science that goes into the rookie-sophomore game. There's not.
So I'm going to go out on a limb with my pick right here and now: TEAM SHAQ by 30.
Update: Thursday, Feb. 16 at 4:15 p.m. ET
The player pool for the Rising Stars Challenge draft is made up of a group of nine rookies and nine sophomores. Chuck and Shaq can pick players from either pool at their leisure.
Courtesy of NBA.com, here's the list of eligible rookies:
Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves
MarShon Brooks, New Jersey Nets
Brandon Knight, Detroit Pistons
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns
Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavaliers
Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats
Derrick Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves
And here's the list of eligible sophomores:
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
John Wall, Washington Wizards
I don't know who's going to have the first pick, but you have to go with Griffin, right? After all, dunks count for more in All-Star scrimmages.
At least, so it would seem.