The top NBA talents of tomorrow will descend upon the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday for the 2019 NBA Rising Stars Challenge, a must-watch segment of this year’s All-Star Weekend.
In preparation for Saturday’s All-Star game, the best first and second-year stars of the basketball elite will face off in a clash between the United States and the rest of the world.
How to Watch NBA Rising Stars Game
- Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free – no contracts required)
- When: Friday, February 15
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: TNT
- Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
The Rising Stars Challenge has made a significant change in its format this year as two incumbent NBA superstars will coach each team: Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving will lead the U.S., while German Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki will take control of Team World.
The NBA’s assistant coaches may be the ones responsible for assembling the two squads, but it’s Irving and Nowitzki who will have to make the most of the players afforded to them.
Team World has won the Rising Stars Challenge in the past two years and were particularly confident victors in 2018 when they triumphed 155-124. That was the second-biggest margin by which this fixture—formerly named the Rookie Challenge—has ever been won.
Only three players from that winning team have been retained this year: Bogdan Bogdanovic of the Sacramento Kings (Serbia), Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers (Australia) and Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markannen (Finland). Nowitzki will be particularly pleased to see Bogdanovic return after he was named MVP in this fixture last year.
The U.S. team have lost Los Angeles Lakers sophomore Lonzo Ball to an ankle injury, with New York Knicks rookie Kevin Knox stepping in as his replacement. This is the second year running in which Ball, 21, has suffered an injury in the build-up, meaning he’ll never play in the Rising Stars Challenge.
Other American names sure to shine come Friday are sophomores Jayson Tatum and Kyle Kuzma, of the Celtics and Lakers, respectively. Those are two of the names kept on Team U.S. for their sophomore season—Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz) and De’Aaron Fox (Kings) have also been retained for this game.
Rookies Marvin Bagley III (Kings), Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies) and Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks) were all selected in the top five of the 2018 NBA Draft and will each carry great expectations for Team USA.
Team World: OG Anunoby (Toronto Raptors), Deandre Ayton (Phoenix Suns), Bogdan Bogdanovic (Sacramento Kings), Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (Los Angeles Clippers), Rodions Kurucs (Brooklyn Nets), Lauri Markkanen (Chicago Bulls), Josh Okogie (Minnesota Timberwolves), Cedi Osman (Cleveland Cavaliers), Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers)
Team USA: Jarrett Allen (Brooklyn Nets), Marvin Bagley III (Sacramento Kings), John Collins (Atlanta Hawks), De’Aaron Fox (Sacramento Kings), Jaren Jackson Jr. (Memphis Grizzlies), Kevin Knox (New York Knicks), Kyle Kuzma (Los Angeles Lakers), Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz), Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics), Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)
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