Rising Stars Challenge Simply Doesn’t Work

Kyrie Irving kept shooting, and missed only one of his field goal attempts. He hit 8 three pointers in the Rising Stars Challenge, leading team Chuck to a 146-133 over team Shaq, in a pretty lame effort to liven up the Friday night of All-Star weekend?

Truthfully? It doesn’t work. Blake Griffin threw down some dunks, John Wall finished with something we would like to see in the dunk contest, but changing the rookie vs sophomore game into a schoolyard game between two TNT commentators who used to be great players just doesn’t make it more interesting. Having players with something in common would have been better.

But the rookies game was never the highlight of the weekend. It was a nice innovation when it began, when Jason Williams made his first steps in the league. Pretty soon it just became a game with lesser star power of talented guys dunking on each other, with no defense. The actual All-Star game always has 24 minutes of fun, before the players who actually want to win it take it into another level, and the games usually have a moment or two of suspense.

The dunk contest? Once in a while someone does pull off something original, but the lack of star power despite the public demand simply kills the interest before it even started. Having Blake Griffin last season did give it a nice touch, but we’re back to relative anonymity this year, and waiting for Sunday, hoping it’ll be more than just a shootout without any kind of competitiveness.