Panini rising stars preview, Brandon Miller to shine?

Feb 12, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward Brandon Miller (24) shoots
Feb 12, 2024; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Charlotte Hornets forward Brandon Miller (24) shoots / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Friday night, the NBA’s all-star weekend will get underway in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the event of the night is the Panini Rising Stars, starting at 9 pm EST on TNT. This will feature 30 players, split into 4 teams of 7 or 8, competing in a single elimination mini-tournament.


Three of the teams are comprised of rookies and second-year NBA players, who were drafted onto the teams by coaches, Tamika Catchings, Jalen Rose, and Pau Gasol. The fourth team is made up of players from the G-League and will be coached by Detlef Schrempf.

The lone participant from the Hornets, rookie Brandon Miller was drafted to Team Pau, joining fellow rookies Victor Wembanyama, Brandin Podziemski, Jaime Jaquez Jr., Cason Wallace, Bilal Coulibaly, and sophomore Jabari Smith.

This should be a fun event, and a great learning experience for Miller, as he’ll be surrounded by his peers and fellow budding stars. He’ll also get to be teammates with Rookie of the Year favorite and international phenom, Victor Wembanyama. On top of that, Miller will be coached by NBA legend, and Naismith Hall of Fame member, Pau Gasol.

The game itself may not be the most intense or competitive, but this can still be a good opportunity for young players like Miller to soak up information and to observe other NBA stars, past, present, and future.


As for the games themselves, the first round will be two single-elimination games played to 40. Miller and Team Pau will face off against Team Detlef and the G-Leaguers, while Team Tamika will face Team Jalen. The two winning teams will advance to the finals and play one game to 25 for the championship.

Wemby will certainly be the center of attention and the main attraction, and rightfully so. But given the roster, Miller should have the chance to handle the ball and run a lot of offense. He’ll likely be asked to create and should feature in plenty of two-man actions with Victor.

I can’t wait to see what Brandon can do alongside a 7’5” freak of nature like Wemby, and what kind of space he can find for himself. Above all, this should just be fun to watch, but there’s plenty of room for Miller to shine, and showcase his talents on the national stage. Anybody who has been sleeping on the Hornets will hopefully get a nice taste of one of the best up-and-comers in the NBA tonight.