NBA Atlanta Hawks

Sir Charles’ Team Rises Past Shaq’s Squad, 146-133

It was the highest scoring Rising Stars game in history, pause for laughter, in its inaugural game, AS the Barkley team won with a 146-133 victory. Both teams combined to score 279 points respectively for Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal’s teams. Rookie Kyrie Irving walked away with the MVP award after registering a 34-point night on 8-for-8 from behind the 3-point arc.

Gone are the days of the Rookie vs Sophomore game during All-Star Weekend. Welcome a new era of NBA entertaninment as the two classes were combined, mixed-and-matched to form a mega-squad of the one and two-year NBA phenoms. 

The former Duke standout led the way with 34 points and nine assists. Irving was 8-for-8 from downtown and 12-for-13 from the field overall. DeMarcus Cousins and Evan Turner each recorded double-double’s during the game. Paul George of the Indiana Pacers scored 23 points for Chuck’s team.

Greg Monroe of the Detroit Pistons led the way for Shaq’s team, as he recorded the only double-double on his squad with 19 points and 10 boards. Jeremy Lin had two points and one assist in a meaningless game after his back-to-back battle’s in regular season play. Blake Griffin chipped in with 10 points in 10 minutes played, as he gears up for the real All-Star Game on Sunday evening.

“Listen, Jeremy Lin rested last night.” -Charles Barkley (after game, speaking on Lin’s perfomance against the Heat the night prior)

In its first game in history, the Rising Stars Game did not disappoint in the wire-to-wire game between TNT hosts. Not many fans watched in the previous season when it was Rookie’s vs Sophormore’s, but the viewership increased this season with the advanced media hype, especially from TNT. Either way, it was a nice start to something we can call a tradition in the future. The only problem is, a tradition usually means doing the same thing for a few years in a row. Right now, the NBA doesn’t look like they want to agree upon anything lasting beyond a year or two.

Follow Tony Piraro on Twitter @TonyPiraro