The 18-player pool for the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge was announced today and in a somewhat surprising twist, Kings rookie Ben McLemore did not make the team.
The teams are as follows:
Rookies: Steven Adams, Pero Antic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams, Tim Hardaway Jr., Victor Oladipo & Kelly Olynyk
Sophomores: Harrison Barnes, Bradley Beal, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Terrence Jones, Damian Lillard, Mason Plumlee, Jared Sullinger, Jonas Valanciunas & Dion Waiters
McLemore has definitely struggled this season, but he did win the Western Conference Rookie of the Month in November and has been playing better as of late. Ben is fifth among rookies in Points Per Game (8.0), 3rd in 3PM (53) and 9th in Total Rebounds (124).
It also should be noted that this year's Rising Stars Challenge features just 18 players when traditionally it has been played with 20. There have been late additions in the past, including last year, when Isaiah Thomas was added to the player pool before the teams were drafted. We'll see if that's the case for Ben, but if not, this will be the first time since 2009 that the Kings aren't being represented at this game.
UPDATE 2:56 P.M.:
Word is that NBA brass thought McLemore was a lock. Coaches snubbed him. Expect him to make it. Vote for him here: http://t.co/g3bBwOb9UJ— Carmichael Dave (@CarmichaelDave) January 29, 2014
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