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NBA’s Rising Stars know exhibition drill, put on dunk fest

Feb 24, 2012, 11:58 PM EDT

BBVA Rising Stars Challenge Getty Images

Give the people what they want.

Nobody tuned in to the BBVA Rising Stars game Friday night of All-Star weekend to watch defense — they wanted to see dunks, crazy passes and guys carpet bombing threes. Then more dunks off ally-oops. Then Jeremy Lin.

In that case, the fans got their money’s worth. Friday night in Orlando there was less defense than your average Nets game.

We’ve got Ricky Rubio going through DeMarcus Cousins’ legs then throwing the ally-oop to Blake Griffin. We’ve got Griffin throwing a dunk off the backboard to himself. You got Kyrie Irving raining threes (8-of-8). We got the next generation of NBA stars trying to put on a show.

“It’s important to come out and have fun and compete a little bit,” said the Clippers Blake Griffin (who is playing in this and the big All-Star Game on Sunday night). “These fans come for a reason and we don’t want to disappoint them and not play hard.”

The fans got Lin to Griffin, what more could they want?

Oh, by the way, Team Chuck beat Team Shaq 146-133. They’ll talk about that a lot on Inside the NBA on TNT. Nobody else really cared about the score.

If you want to know why it ended that way, in a game where every three was uncontested Team Chuck shot 55 percent from deep, Team Shaq shot 29.3 percent. Charles Barkley can thank Irving, who had 34 points and was the game MVP.

“He was hot today,” said Irving’s teammate for a night MarShon Brooks of the Nets. “Kyrie can shoot in a real game, so in an exhibition where you’re wide open, I can see that happen. Didn’t surprise me.”

For the guys in the game, this was a chance to have fun and get to know and play with guys they don’t see much.

“We’ve been hearing about Ricky Rubio since like 400 b.c.,” said the Cavaliers’ Tristan Thompson, who was teamed with him. “So finally he’s here playing with us and it’s fun. He can pass the ball, he was hitting some threes, he’s going to be a great player in this league.”

As in most of these exhibitions, guards tend to shine because they have the ball in their hands.

“It’s definitely kind of harder for big guys because we go out there to dunk and block shots, and you don’t want to block and hurt someone (in an exhibition) so it’s really simple: run the floor and dunk. I can do that.”

He and his friends did a lot of that.

  1. losangelasbasketball - Feb 25, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Kwaii leanard from the spurs should have been in this game.

  2. tomshoe - Feb 25, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    This was a fun, crowd pleasing game. Too bad the crowd was terrible.


    “Greg Monroe? Never heard of him. Ever.”

    “DeMarcus Cousins who? He looks like a nutcase.”

    “Ricky Rubio? That guy with the Bieber hair?”

    “Kyrie Irving? ROY Frontrunner? Who’s he?”

    (Then Norris Cole (Miami) and Blake Griffin (Dunks) come out)


    I hate Florida. I hate them for their bandwagon fans, which will be gone as soon as D12 leaves. And I hate the concept of fan voting. Ruins the dunk contest. And I hate Florida for the Bush-Gore election in 2000, too. Only part I don’t hate is Disney World.

    “Florida: America’s Limp Dick”

    • freemantowilliams - Feb 25, 2012 at 7:24 PM

      Yeah i hate Florida too and I’ve lived here my entire life. Were a football state that’s all there is too it. Americas Limp Dick though?!? Come on guy lighten up.

  3. jthammerstix - Feb 25, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    Kwaii leanard from the spurs should have been in this game.

    He was, but he was hurt.

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