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NBA Rising Stars Challenge Removed from 2021 All-Star Weekend

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2021

Team USA forward Zion Williamson, of the New Orleans Pelicans, goes up for a dunk against Team World during the second half of the NBA Rising Stars basketball game in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

The NBA has canceled the Rising Stars Challenge for the 2021 All-Star break, according to Mark Medina of USA Today.

The annual event showcases the top rookies and second-year players in the league, but the game will be cut this year amid changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The league is still expected to announce rosters for players who would have been involved on March 3, per Medina.

There will be 10 players from the United States selected and 10 players from the World team selected in a vote from the league's assistant coaches, per the league's release.

The USA versus World format has been in place since 2015, with the American side getting the 151-131 win last year led by MVP Miles Bridges:

The game was the first chance to see Zion Williamson and Ja Morant, the top two picks in the 2019 draft, playing together with Team USA. The two likely would have been selected for the Rising Stars Challenge once again, although Williamson will get his chance to play in the All-Star game.

Rookies LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards will also miss out on their chance to showcase their ability on the national stage, but they will hopefully get the opportunity in 2022.

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