The BBA Rising Stars Challenge was Friday night but while it didn’t feature many current NBA headliners, it gave us all a glimpse into what the future had in store and the future, my basketball loving friends, is very bright. Denver Nuggets big man Kenneth Faried threw down 40 points in the contest, which earned him MVP honors for the game. But while Faried showed off some offensive skills, he wasn’t the only one to make the night memorable.
The first highlight of the night did include Faried but he got some help from second year Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Rickey Rubio. One thing Rubio has become known for is his amazing passing ability and he’s beginning to hone his alley-lop skills as well. Usually when he throws one up at the Target Center, Derrick Williams whiffs badly but Friday night in Houston, Faried was all over Rubio’s alley-oop feed and the result was golden.
While it’s sort of two highlights in one, Kings guard Isaiah Thomas Jr. went off from three point range in the first half, hitting jumpers on back-to-back possessions for Team Chuck. Thomas actually hit all four of his three-point attempts coming off the bench in the first half but in one series of events, Thomas drained a wide open three, stole the ball and proceeded to drain another three-pointer.
But perhaps the highlight of the night came courtesy of Kyrie Irving who broke ankles on one particular play late in the second half. Irving was going one-on-one against fellow guard Brandon Knight, but what Knight wanted to happen and what actually happened were two hilariously different things. Knight meant to defend Irving and prevent a jump shot, but instead Irving faked Knight’s soul out of his own body and made the Pistons guard look absolutely foolish.
Kenneth Faried may have been the MVP of the game, but Irving was clearly the best ting to watch in the Rising Stars Challenge. We saw the bright future of the NBA on Friday night but it was abundantly clear the entire time that Irving is the nucleus of that and he’s only going to get better and rise higher as his career progresses.