Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Griffin to play in Rising Stars Challenge
By Arash Markazi
Clippers forward Blake Griffin is still undecided about defending his slam dunk title, but he will play in the Rising Stars Challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend.
Griffin played on the rookie team during last year’s game and scored 14 points and grabbed three rebounds in 13 minutes. Griffin played fewer minutes than any player in the game because he was also competing in the dunk contest and playing in the All-Star game. His minutes will likely be limited again this year regardless of his participation in the dunk contest, as he is starting in this year’s All-Star game.
The participants in the Rising Stars Challenge, which will be played Feb. 24 in Orlando, were selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot.
A new format is being implemented for the game this year. Instead of having the rookies play the sophomores, both groups will be mixed on teams.
Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal will serve as the general managers of the opposing teams, each with nine-man rosters, drafted from the aforementioned pool.
Kenny Smith will serve as the honorary commissioner for the draft and Ernie Johnson will host the Rising Stars Challenge Draft on Thursday, Feb. 16.