Become The Second Ever Rookie/Sophomore Tandem To Represent Warriors
Thompson, the 11th overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, is averaging 16.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 35.3 minutes in 45 games (all starts) in his second season with the Warriors, while shooting 39.0 percent from three-point range and 90.1 percent from the free throw line (tied for third in the NBA). 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) and ranks third among sophomores in scoring. Thompson scored a career-high 32 points on career highs of 13 made field goals and six made three-pointers in the Warriors’ 108-95 win in Cleveland last night.
Barnes, the seventh overall selection of the 2012 NBA Draft, is averaging 8.9 points (seventh among rookies), 4.3 rebounds (tied for eighth), 1.5 assists and 25.2 minutes in 44 games (all starts), while shooting 43.2 percent from the field (10th) and 36.7 percent from three-point range (fourth). Only Damian Lillard (45) has started more games among rookies than Barnes this season.
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.
The selected rookies and sophomores, who were chosen by vote of NBA assistant coaches, will be mixed together on teams for a second-straight year. The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge Draft is scheduled for Thursday, February 7, televised on TNT at 4 p.m. PST. TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal will again serve as the general managers of TEAM CHUCK and TEAM SHAQ.
Following the announcement of each team on February 7, for the first time ever 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 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge will be played on Friday, February 15 at 6 p.m. PST at Houston’s Toyota Center, site of Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game. The game will be televised nationally on TNT and broadcast live on ESPN Radio.