Kemba Walker will be the lone participant, at present time, for the Charlotte Bobcats in All-Star Weekend in Orlando later this month. I say “at the present time” there because it is unclear whether Boris Diaw will be invited to participate in the Three Point Contest. I don’t know if we’ve ever seen anyone pump fake a ball-rack before, but if Boris was invited, he might not clear the first station.
The “Rising Stars Challenge” sounds like an event for middle school kids, who might actually have real life challenges. What they really mean is, it’s a game between the rookies and the sophomores, that used to be Rookies vs. Sophomores but now will be a pool of players with Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal picking teams from their TNT Atlanta Studio.
The game is a good showcase for guys like Kemba Walker, who people know of from college, but may not have seen them on national TV. It’s also pretty much the least likely place you’ll find defense in any basketball game outside of one-on-none games. MVP’s of this game have actually all gone on to be All-Stars, except Jason Richardson, John Wall (last year), Demarcus Cousins and Daniel Gibson, but all of them have had great careers and the last two guys are likely to get there one day.
Kemba deserves the recognition. He’s definitely one of the top rookies this season and he’s one of only five players this year to have a triple-double in the entire NBA.
I don’t fully understand why Bismack Biyombo didn’t get an invitation. If you asked me to rank the rookies in the NBA right now, I’d have to do it like this:
#1 – Ricky Rubio
#2 – Kyrie Irving
#3 – Kemba Walker
#4 – MarShon Brooks
#5 – Brandon Knight
#6 – Kwahi Leonard
#7 – Derrick Williams
#8 – Bismack Biyombo
And I’m not even exaggerating. Markieff Morris and Tristan Thompson made the team over Bismack, but hey, I don’t make these rules and dude doesn’t have gaudy numbers or get much attention. I can’t be mad about it, because Morris and Thompson are no slouches. I just want as much attention for these Bobcats rookies as we can get.