In the NBA's annual Friday night warmup celebration of no man-to-man defense, no zone defense and no getting back on defense, Team Chuck (as in Barkley) defeated Team Shaq (as in O'Neal), 146-133.
It's called The Rising Stars Challenge and used to pit first-year players against second-year players. But this year the two players turned broadcasters were empowered as general managers to select the teams.
Blake Griffin, the first player chosen by O'Neal, was a starter but pretty much saved his energy after competing all three days last year in Los Angeles. He played about five minutes in each 20-minute half. He did excite the crowd with four uncontested slams in the second half, finishing with 10 points. He was five for six from the field.
Cleveland's Kyrie Irving was the game's high scorer with 34 for Team Chuck.
Griffin is skipping the Saturday dunk competition this year.
"To be honest, I don't know when the dunk contest is," Griffin said. "Between this game and then the All-Star game and having stuff every day, I just kind of wanted to take a break and give my body a chance to rest tomorrow night."
Blake Griffin plays in Rising Stars Challenge, but not a lot
Los Angeles Times | Feb 25