got milk? Rookie Challenge: 9 p.m. ET Friday, Feb. 13 (TNT)
NEW YORK, Feb. 5 – Longtime coach and TNT analyst Doug Collins and Los Angeles Sparks head coach and Lakers legend Michael Cooper are joined by NBA legends Byron Scott and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as coaches of the 2004 got milk? Rookie Challenge, to be held on Friday, Feb. 13 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
The got milk? Rookie Challenge presents this year’s top rookies against the league’s best second-year players, featuring rookie superstars LeBron James
of Cleveland and Carmelo Anthony
of Denver facing off against the first overall selection in the 2002 NBA Draft, Yao Ming
of the Houston Rockets, and 2002-03 got milk? Rookie of the Year, Amaré Stoudemire
The got milk? Rookie Challenge will be televised in prime time (TNT, 9 p.m. ET), for the first time in the game’s 10-year history.
Collins, who will coach the Rookies, has been an integral part of the NBA since he was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the first overall selection in the 1973 NBA Draft. He was selected to play in four All-Star Games (1976-79) during his eight seasons with the 76ers.
He began his NBA coaching career as head coach of the Chicago Bulls in 1986, followed by stints with the Detroit Pistons and the Washington Wizards, compiling an overall record of 332-287 and taking his teams to the playoffs his first five years as head coach. Collins now serves as an NBA analyst for TNT.
On the sideline for the Sophomores is Cooper, an NBA legend and head coach of the two-time WNBA champion Los Angeles Sparks.
As one of the most popular Lakers in franchise history and regarded as a defensive genius during his 11-year NBA career, Cooper played a vital role in capturing five championships with the Lakers (1980, '82, '85, '87, '88).
After three years as a Lakers assistant, he was hired as head coach of the Sparks in 1999, guiding them to the best record in franchise history (28-4) and earning him Coach of the Year honors his first season.
Cooper coached the Sparks to two consecutive WNBA championships (2001 and 2002) and now enters his fifth year as head coach, holding an impressive 105-25 record.
Scott, a 14-year NBA veteran and former New Jersey Nets head coach, was selected as assistant coach for the Rookies. The fourth overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft, Scott spent 11 seasons with the Lakers, including a 10-year run with the club’s "Showtime" era, earning three NBA championships (1985, 1987, 1988). In June 2000, Scott became head coach of the New Jersey Nets. In just his second season, he took the team to the NBA Finals following a 26-56 mark his rookie campaign, recording the largest turnaround in Nets history.
Assisting Cooper coaching the Sophomores is NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. When Abdul-Jabbar left the game in 1989 at age 42, no NBA player had ever scored more points, blocked more shots, won more Most Valuable Player Awards, played in more All-Star Games or logged more seasons.
His list of personal and team accomplishments is perhaps the most awesome in league history: Rookie of the Year, member of six NBA championship teams, six-time NBA MVP, two-time NBA Finals MVP, 19-time All-Star, two-time scoring champion and a member of the NBA 35th and 50th Anniversary All-Time Teams. He was the first overall choice in the 1969 NBA Draft.
The participants in the got milk? Rookie Challenge were selected by a panel of 11 former NBA players and coaches who currently work as broadcasters covering the league, including Walton and Greg Anthony from ESPN; Collins from TNT; Doc Rivers from ABC; Jack Ramsay of ESPN Radio; Quinn Buckner of Fox Sports Net Midwest; Eddie Johnson of UPN45; Johnny Kerr of Fox Sports Net Chicago; Stu Lantz of Fox Sports Net; Steve Mix of Sixers TV; Jim Petersen of FSN and WFTC-UPN29.
This is the fifth year under the current rookie versus sophomore format with the series knotted at two games a piece. Last year, the Sophomores defeated the Rookies 132-112, with Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas, a member of the Golden State Warriors in 2002-03, earning the Most Valuable Player award.
The game will be played in two 20-minute halves, with each team allowed one full timeout and one 20-second timeout per half. Individual foul totals will be kept, but a player can not foul out. A team will be in the penalty situation after 10 team fouls or after the second foul in the final two minutes of each half. In the event of a tie game, there will be a two-minute overtime to determine the winner.
For the first time, Verizon Wireless customers with two-way text messaging capable phones and visitors to NBA.com will have the opportunity vote -- and have it count -- toward selecting the MVP of the got milk? Rookie Challenge, as part of the the league's comprehensive wireless package "2004 NBA TXT Play" and NBA.com's exclusive NBA All-Star 2004 coverage.
Tickets to the got milk? Rookie Challenge are priced at $40, and are available at the STAPLES Center box office, Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com, NBA.com and 1-800-4NBA-TIX.
The got milk? Rookie Challenge will be live on TNT, Rogers Sportsnet and ESPN Radio on Friday, Feb. 13 at 9 p.m. ET. NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by America Online, featuring Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk, 989 Sports Skills Challenge and RadioShack Shooting Stars will be live on TNT and ESPN Radio at 8 p.m. ET. The NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 15 will be live on TNT, Rogers Sportsnet and ESPN Radio at 8 p.m. ET. The game will also be telecast in 212 countries and broadcast in 12 languages on NBA.com..
ROOKIE TEAM ROSTER
SOPHOMORE TEAM ROSTER
Head coach: Michael Cooper
Assistant coach: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Head coach: Doug Collins
Assistant coach: Byron Scott
PREVIOUS got milk? ROOKIE CHALLENGE RESULTS
1994: Phenoms 74, Sensations 68
1995: White 83, Green 79 (OT)
1996: East 94, West 92
1997: East 96, West 91
1998: East 85, West 80
2000: Rookies 92, Sophomores 81 (OT)
2001: Sophomores 121, Rookies 113
2002: Rookies 103, Sophomores 97
2003: Sophomores 132, Rookies 112