Shaquille O'Neal selected Pistons rookie center Andre Drummond with his third pick — and fifth overall — during the Rising Stars Challenge draft Thursday on TNT.

Charles Barkley took Pistons guard Brandon Knight with his final selection.

The challenge, which is 9 p.m. Feb. 15 on TNT, will kick off All-Star weekend at the Toyota Center in Houston.

O'Neal picked Portland's Damian Lillard No. 1 overall.

Knight also was selected to participate in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, along with San Antonio's Tony Parker (the defending champion), Philadelphia's Jrue Holiday, Lillard, Houston's Jeremy Lin and Atlanta's Jeff Teague.

The skills challenge is Feb. 16.

Pistons play it safe with Drummond

Drummond isn't worried about his recent back injury and neither are the Pistons, but it doesn't mean the team isn't taking every possible precaution, holding him out of Thursday's practice and sending him to a doctor.

"He's going to the doctor and everything to this point has been, this isn't (serious)," Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. "I'm not trying to make light of an injury, but it's not five-alarm area."

Drummond spoke briefly with the media after the game, not appearing to show any concern about it being a long-term issue.

He played eight minutes in Monday's loss before sitting out, and labored a bit against the Nets before taking a charge on 260-pound Andray Blatche sent him to the bench for good.

"It's tough I couldn't be out there to help my teammates tonight. But I'm going to take care of the situation," said Drummond, who departed after playing four minutes. "It's just something that needs rest."

He buried his face in his jersey for a while while strength and conditioning coach Arnie Kander tended to him, gingerly getting off the bench during timeouts and stoppages.

"I fell the wrong way in the Lakers game (Sunday), I just need a day or two and I'll be good," said Drummond, adding it's more his tailbone. "I felt good, (but) after I took that charge it hit me again."

Despite his growth, there's no urgency to rush him back on the floor, and the Pistons aren't sure it's too serious — but doing due diligence to ensure it won't become chronic.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130207/SPORTS0102/302070486#ixzz2KJrOe4Jk