Rising Stars Challenge 2012: Ricky Rubio and 3 Youngins Who Will Steal the Show

Jeff ChaseSenior Analyst IIFebruary 24, 2012


While guys like Blake Griffin will be there to electrify the crowd, and the presence of Jeremy Lin will fascinate those taken by the hype, some rookies such as Ricky Rubio will actually be stealing tonight's show at the NBA Rising Stars Challenge.

The event will pit two teams made up of rookies and sophomores against each other, but the strength of this rookie class will outshine the sophomores on Friday night.

The best rookies going into tonight's game are mostly point guards, so it should be no surprise if the guys handling the rock will make the most of their opportunities.

These guys are sure to steal the show tonight:


Kemba Walker, Charlotte Bobcats

While the former UConn Husky hasn't had the impact in the NBA that he had during his college days, Walker has been doing quite a fine job in his transition to the league. 

With the Bobcats, he is averaging 13.3 points per game, but only dishing the rock 3.8 times per night. If there is one thing we know about Walker, though, it is that he can go off. When there is no pressure, such as tonight, I predict we'll see some of that classic Kemba we saw at UConn.

To say the least, that would be a lot of fun.


Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers

Being the first No. 1 pick for the Cavaliers since the departure of LeBron James to the Miami Heat, the former Duke Blue Devil guard has done a great job playing in what is perhaps the worst situation in the NBA.

Many were skeptical of Iriving's decision to leave school, as he hardly saw any time due to injury, but he has exceeded expectations. He is averaging 18.1 points per game and he is pretty much the only electrifying player on Charles Barkley's team besides Washington Wizards guard John Wall.

If both guards are on the floor at the same time, be ready for some of the quickest basketball you will ever see.


Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves

Nobody has stepped up to the plate this season quite like the Spaniard Rubio. Some consider him the second-coming of NBA legend Pete Maravich, and it will be Rubio's Pistol Pete-like plays that will take over All-Star Friday night.

Rubio will be paired with Clippers forward Griffin, and I expect these two to light things up all night long. The T-Wolves guard can dish it like no other, so we should be seeing some exciting ally-oops all night long.

It is clear that Team Shaq is the much better team, and it will be Rubio who will take them above and beyond.


Jeff Chase is a Featured Columnist for the Chicago Cubs and Arizona State football.