2013 Rising Star Participants: Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes
January 30, 2013
Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson and forward Harrison Barnes have been selected to participate in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge at NBA All-Star Weekend on February 15 in Houston.
Thompson and Barnes are the first Warriors to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge since Stephen Curry did so as a sophomore in 2011 and will be just the second rookie/sophomore tandem ever to represent the Warriors in the game (Curry and Anthony Morrow in 2010).
Thompson and Barnes will join David Lee at NBA All-Star Weekend after Lee became the first Warriors representative named to the NBA All-Star Game since Latrell Sprewell in 1997.
Klay Thompson was the 11th overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft and is in his second season with the Warriors.
On January 29, he helped the Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 108-95 with his sharp shooting. He scored a career-high 32 points on career highs of 13 made field goals (13-of-24) and six made three-pointers (6-of-8).
Klay also had seven rebounds and a career-high-tying three blocks.
As of January 30, Thompson ranks third in the NBA in three-pointers made with 123. He is behind only Ryan Anderson (137) and teammate Stephen Curry (133).
Curry and Thompson, known as the Splash Brothers, are one of the deadliest backcourts in the NBA.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have combined for 67 games with mutiple three-pointers this season. No pair of teammates has hit more than the 256 threes from the Splash Brothers.
Over the last seven games, Klay is averaging 21.3 points on .482 shooting.
That includes .451 from distance (3.3 threes per game).
Thompson had a notable shooting night January 19 in a 116-112 Warriors victory over the New Orleans Hornets – 29 points (24 in the first half) on 11-of-16 shooting and 5-of-7 from deep.
From April 4, 2012 to November 10, 2012, Klay scored double figures in a career-best 21 consecutive games.
The Warriors (28-17) are off to their best start since 1991-92, when they began the season 30-15.
Thompson’s shooting ability is a key factor in that success - the Warriors are 10-4 when he scores 20-plus points.
In his second season with the Golden State Warriors, Klay is averaging 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 35.3 minutes in 45 games (all starts).
The 6-7 guard, who has yet to miss a game in his NBA career, leads the league in games with at least three three-pointers (27).
Klay will be one of the biggest scoring threats in the Rising Stars Challenge, as he ranks third among sophomores in scoring.
Harrison Barnes was the seventh overall selection of the 2012 NBA Draft.
Midway through his rookie year, Barnes has established himself as one of best dunkers in the game.
He has earned NBA’s “Dunk of the Night” honors three times so far. His debut dunk, known as “Flight of the Falcon”, came on November 24 when the Warriors hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves.
During that same game, Barnes posted his third double-double with 10 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.
Barnes’ other standout dunks were during this past road trip – January 26 against the Milwaukee Bucks and January 28 against the Toronto Raptors.
You can watch all of Harrison's dunks on Warriors TV (warriors.com/tv).
There’s more to the Black Falcon than just jaw-dropping dunks. He’s one of the league's top rookies – ranking seventh in scoring, tied for eighth in rebounding and fourth in three-point percentage.
Barnes scored a career-high 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting (5-of-6 from deep) in 29 minutes on January 13 at Denver.
When Barnes made his NBA debut on October 31 in Phoenix, he became the youngest Warrior (20 years, 154 days) to start a season opener since Joe Smith (20 years, 100 days) started on 11/3/95 at Houston.
That’s not the only Warriors rookie record Harrison Barnes has broken. He scored a then career-best 20 points to go with 12 rebounds in his first career 20/10 game on November 19 vs. Dallas. It was the first 20-point, 10-rebound effort by a Warriors rookie since Stephen Curry’s triple-double (36 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists) on 2/10/10 vs. the Clippers.
Barnes tallied 19 points and a career-high13-boards on November 14 vs. the Atlanta Hawks. His performance was the first time a Warriors rookie has recorded at least those figures since Anthony Randolph went for 24 points and 16 rebounds on 4/13/09 vs. San Antonio. It was also the first time a Warriors rookie has had 13 rebounds since Chris Hunter had 13 on 3/6/10 at Charlotte.
This season Barnes is averaging 8.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 25.2 minutes in 44 games, while shooting 43.2 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from three-point range. Only Damian Lillard (45) has started more games among rookies than Barnes this season.
The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge will feature two teams drafted by TNT Analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal who will serve as the opposing general managers. Each team will have nine man rosters, consisting of both NBA rookies and sophomores drafted from a pool that was previously selected by the NBA's assistant coaches. Fans will have the opportunity to vote online for who should be in the starting lineup for each team.
The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge will be played on Friday, February 15 at 6 p.m. PST at Houston’s Toyota Center, site Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game. The game will be televised nationally on TNT and broadcast live on ESPN Radio.
Congratulations, Klay and Harrison!