Fans will have their fingerprints all over All-Star weekend this season, influencing the rosters of the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge for the first time in the history of the event.
The league had already planned for more fan involvement with the game. Fans were afforded the opportunity to vote for the starting lineup of the teams drafted by TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal.
For the second straight season, Barkley and O'Neal will have their choice of the 18 rookies and sophomores selected to compete. TNT will have the exclusive broadcast of the draft on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. ET.
But the bruisers-turned-broadcasters don't want to wait for the rosters to be set to get some fan feedback. Both are looking for advice on which players should fill out their nine available roster slots:
Help me make my picks for the BBVA draft next week on TNT. Who deserves to be on #TeamSHAQ?— SHAQ (@SHAQ) February 1, 2013
For those looking to bolster Barkley's squad, a tweet with the hashtag #TeamChuck will make their voices heard.
First-time All-Star Kyrie Irving appears to be a lock for the top spot, but he's one of a number of options to build a team around.
For explosive floor generals, Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker and Damian Lillard are all possibilities. On the wing there are sharpshooters (Klay Thompson, Chandler Parsons and Bradley Beal), playmakers (Alexey Shved and Dion Waiters) and do-it-all glue guys with out-of-this-world athleticism (Kawhi Leonard, Harrison Barnes and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist).
The frontcourt may not pack the same offensive punch, but with backcourt scorers like these, it doesn't need to. What it does have is toughness (Andre Drummond and Anthony Davis), athleticism (Kenneth Faried and Tristan Thompson) and polished production (Nikola Vucevic and Tyler Zeller).
With so much talent available, who's your best nine-man combination?
On second thought, don't tell me. Go tell #TeamShaq and #TeamChuck.