Isaiah Thomas added to 2013 Rising Stars Challenge

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA made a surprise announcement Thursday, as Kenny Smith added Isaiah Thomas to the player pool for the 2013 Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend.

Isaiah Thomas will participate in the 2013 Rising Stars Challenge after all, as "commissioner" Kenny Smith added him to the pool of players before Thursday night's draft. Isaiah was picked by Charles Barkley toward the end of the draft. (He was not, however, the last pick.) Joining Isaiah on Team Chuck will be Anthony Davis, Kenneth Faried, Ricky Rubio, Brandon Knight and Alexey Shved, among others. The top two point guards in the game, Damian Lillard and Kyrie Irving, landed on Team Shaq.

Jimmer Fredette and Thomas Robinson were other potential Rising Stars options that weren't chosen by the league.

The game is Friday, February 15. Isaiah will be the only Kings player in any event at All-Star Weekend. Tyreke Evans and DeMarcus Cousins previously had stand-out performances in the rookie-sophomore event.

The main event of All-Star Weekend for Sacramentans will be, of course, Kevin Johnson's lobbying efforts.

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