The Nuggets didn’t have an All-Star representative, but if they did, one could make a serious case for Kenneth “The Manimal” Faried. While he won’t participate in the actual All-Star game, Faried’s success won’t go unrewarded. The rosters for the BBVA Rising Star Challenge were announced and the second year forward out of Morehead State University will be apart of the action.
From 2000-2011, the game put the rookies against the sophomores for bragging rights. Last year however, the league mixed it up allowing the players to be mixed in a pool consisting of nine rookies and nine sophomores. Once the players were revealed, NBA legends Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal drafted their teams to go head-to-head.
Barkley and O’Neal will once again serve as coaches this year, but with a twist. This year, the fans will be able to vote online or from their mobile devices for the starters of each team which will be announced on the night of the game.
Faried wasn’t able to participate in the game last year, but there is no question this year that he is worthy. The Manimal is averaging 11.8 points and 9.7 rebounds per contest this season and has been a double-double threat for Denver in their chase for home court in the playoffs.
The following are the 18 players who will be in the pool for the game:
Harrison Barnes Golden State F 6-8 210 North Carolina/USA R
Bradley Beal Washington G 6-5 207 Florida/USA R
Anthony Davis New Orleans F 6-10 220 Kentucky/USA R
Andre Drummond Detroit C 6-10 270 Connecticut/USA R
Kenneth Faried Denver F 6-8 228 Morehead State/USA 1
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Charlotte G-F 6-7 232 Kentucky/USA R
Kyrie Irving Cleveland G 6-3 191 Duke/USA 1
Brandon Knight Detroit G 6-3 189 Kentucky/USA 1
Kawhi Leonard San Antonio F 6-7 225 San Diego State/USA 1
Damian Lillard Portland G 6-3 195 Weber State/USA R
Chandler Parsons Houston F 6-9 207 Florida/USA 1
Alexey Shved Minnesota G 6-6 182 CSKA/Russia R
Klay Thompson Golden State G 6-7 205 Washington State/USA 1
Tristan Thompson Cleveland F 6-9 227 Texas/USA 1
Nikola Vucevic Orlando C 7-0 240 USC/USA 1
Dion Waiters Cleveland G 6-4 215 Syracuse/USA R
Kemba Walker Charlotte G 6-1 185 Connecticut/USA 1
Tyler Zeller Cleveland F/C 7-0 250 North Carolina/USA R
The contest is scheduled to take place on Thursday, Feb. 7 on TNT.