11:49 PM ET
- Tim BontempsESPN
Cleveland – The Rising Stars Challenge became the latest All-Star segment of the weekend to undergo a format change, and it was a success.
The event, featuring the best NBA players in Years One and Two, used an entirely new format this season. Rather than just being one game in which these players participate, as in years past, there were four rosters of seven players coached by Hall of Famers Isiah Thomas, Rick BarryAnd the James Worthy And the Gary Payton.
Three matches were played – two semi-final matches against 50 matches, and the championship match against 25 matches, in reference to the league’s celebration of its 75th anniversary this season.
and after Kid Cunningham1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, led Barry to a 25-20 victory over Team Isiah to win the event, and he said he was happy with the change of format.
“It was so much fun,” Cunningham said after winning the MVP award at the event. “Great teammates, great coaches, great atmosphere… I had a great time for sure.”
All three games used “Elam Ending,” which first came to All-Star Weekend two years ago in Chicago when it debuted on the All-Star Game.
“It felt good,” Missile Ranger Galen Green He said, after his team lost the first semi-final when Desmond Ben Hit a few free throws to close it. “It was fun. It was exciting out there. We were just walking around and playing for free.”
While the games’ opening moments were reminiscent of previous Rising Stars games, which were usually dunked, 3 seconds and barely any intensity, the new format added some last-minute spice.
When a foul was made by Bane Galen Suggs – who missed a possible free throw moments ago – at the end of the first semi-final, they both spoke to him Cole Anthony And the Therese Maxi Before quietly sinking into a second to give his team the win.
In fact, all three games ultimately ended with a free throw – a sign of the uncharacteristic type of defense that was being played, at least when games were on the line, all night long.
“I love this,” guard Hornets lamillo ball He said. “I feel like this was psychedelic. Having something new, with 75, 50 and 25, I feel like it was iconic.”
The night also featured G League Ignite players taking part in the festivities for the first time – an additional way for the NBA to highlight its new initiative to get the best odds of skipping college and instead spend some time in the G League before they qualify for a draft.