The Friday night of All-Star Weekend has quietly emerged as one of the leading events of the three-day celebration of basketball's biggest stars.
And no, it has nothing to do with the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.
The strength of the night (and perhaps the entire weekend) lies in the immensely exciting exhibition known as the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge.
The game features 18 of the sport's youngest stars, with those players drafted onto two teams led by TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal. The draft will take place at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 7, televised exclusively on TNT.
In a new twist, fans will now have the opportunity to vote for the starting lineups for each team once the rosters are set. As USA Today Sports reported on Jan. 30, representing the sophomore class are: Kyrie Irving, Kenneth Faried, Brandon Knight, Kawhi Leonard, Chandler Parsons, Klay Thompson, Tristan Thompson, Nikola Vucevic and Kemba Walker.
The rookie crop includes the following: Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Alexey Shved, Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller.
There may not be any glaring omissions at first glance, but the announcement was far from drama-free, as there is a host of snubs and surprises.