Sullinger, Olynyk Chosen as Rising Stars
NEW YORK – The Philadelphia 76ers’ Michael Carter-Williams, the New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis and the Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard headline the list of 18 players selected for the 2014 BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge to be played Friday, Feb. 14, in New Orleans during NBA All-Star 2014.
Carter-Williams, the Kia NBA Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for games played in October/November, leads all first year players in scoring (17.4 ppg), assists (6.7 apg), rebounding (5.6 apg) and steals (2.41 spg). Davis, the league leader in blocks (3.27 bpg), is averaging a double-double with 20.4 points and 10.4 rebounds. Lillard, the 2012-13 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year has the Trail Blazers near the top of the Western Conference standings thanks to averages of 20.6 points and 5.6 assists.
The BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge -- televised live nationally on TNT at 9 p.m. ET and broadcast live on ESPN Radio, with live audio also available on NBA.com in multiple languages -- features two teams each consisting of nine rookies and sophomores mixed together, drafted from a pool selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches.
Joining Davis and Lillard among sophomores selected to participate are the Golden State Warriors’ Harrison Barnes, the Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal, the Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond, the Houston Rockets’ Terrence Jones, the Boston Celtics’ Jared Sullinger, the Toronto Raptors’ Jonas Valanciunas and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ Dion Waiters.
Carter-Williams is joined in the player pool by fellow rookies Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Atlanta Hawks’ Pero Antic, the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Utah Jazz’s Trey Burke, the New York Knicks’ Tim Hardaway, Jr., the Orlando Magic’s Victor Oladipo, the Boston Celtics’ Kelly Olynyk, and the Brooklyn Nets’ Mason Plumlee.
This marks the third straight year rookies and sophomores will be mixed together on teams. The BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge Draft is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 6, televised exclusively on TNT at 7 p.m. ET. General Managers for the teams will be announced at a later date. Last year in Houston, Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried scored 40 points (18-of-22 field goals) and added 10 rebounds en route to MVP honors as he led his team to a 163-135 win.
Following the announcement of each team on Feb. 6, fans will be able to vote online from both their computer and mobile device for the starters of each team. The starting lineups will be determined by the players garnering the top votes for their respective positions, with two backcourt and three frontcourt spots for each team. The announcement of the starting lineup will be made in broadcast and in-arena on the night of the game.
The head coaches for both teams will be the lead assistant coaches from the 2014 NBA All-Star Game coaching staffs. The East and West coaching staffs are determined by the best record in each conference through games played Feb. 2. Frank Vogel and his Indiana Pacers staff have secured the honors in the East, while Scott Brooks and his Oklahoma City Thunder staff earned the honors in the West. The Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs staffs, by virtue of having coached at the 2013 NBA All-Star game, are not eligible to coach this year’s game.
NBA All-Star 2014 in New Orleans will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league’s history for a global celebration of the game. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for the 12th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports' 30th year of All-Star coverage. State Farm All-Star Saturday Night will feature Sears Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, and Sprite Slam Dunk. Other events at NBA All-Star 2014 will include the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, and NBA All-Star Jam Session. The 2014 game will mark the second NBA All-Star celebration in New Orleans. The city also hosted the event in 2008.
This year’s BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge will feature a three-phase sweepstakes for fans at www.nba.com/BBVACompassRisingStarsSweeps. During the first phase, currently underway, fans can vote for their favorite rookie through Feb. 5. In the second phase, which will begin after the game's team rosters are announced on Feb. 6, fans can vote for the players they want on each starting line-up. The final phase of the sweepstakes will be during the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge on Feb. 14, when fans can vote for the game’s MVP. During each of the first two stages of the sweepstakes, one voting fan will be chosen at random to receive a trip to one game of the 2014 NBA Playoffs. During the final stage, one voting fan will be randomly selected for a trip to one game of the 2014 NBA Finals. Three trips in total will be awarded.