The league announced Wednesday the list of first and second year players who will play in this year’s BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. And for the first time since 2009, the Sacramento Kings won’t be represented.
“It would be a great thing to play in the game,” said Robinson last week of the chances of participating in the rookie/sophomore game. “Like I said, my situation is a little different than what I expected. But like I said, I’m making the best of it and if I get rewarded for that, then that’s a blessing.”
Spotty per game numbers probably didn’t help the three Kings’ cases in the eyes of the selection committee. Thomas, Sacramento’s starting point guard, is playing just 23.5 minutes while averaging 11.3 points and 3.2 assists per game. Fredette plays just 14.1 minutes and averages only 7.7 points per game. Robinson, the Kings’ lone rookie this season, is playing just 16 minutes a game and averaging 4.9 points and 4.7 rebounds.
“Hopefully, they notice that I make the best of my situation like I said and hopefully I make the game,” Robinson said when asked last Thursday if his recent play over the last month, which includes three double-doubles, might sway the game’s decision-makers. “If not, then life goes on.”
The Kings’ final hope for any representation during All-Star Weekend would be Fredette. The second-year guard out of BYU is presumably a candidate for the 3-Point Contest. Fredette is currently ranked 13th in the NBA in 3-point percentage. However, his chances might be hampered considering he doesn’t crack the top 50 in long-range makes and attempts.
Over the last three years, the Kings have had at least one representative playing in the Rising Stars game. From 2010 to 2012, DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans and Omri Casspi were the last three Kings to play in the annual game that pits the league’s young up-and-comers. As a team that’s failed to make the playoffs since 2006, Sacramento has been afforded the opportunity to participate in the lottery and be in good position to draft some of the NBA’s best young talent.
- Kenneth Faried (Denver Nuggets)
- Brandon Knight (Detroit Pistons)
- Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio Spurs)
- Chandler Parsons (Houston Rockets)
- Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors)
- Tristan Thompson (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- Nikola Vucevic (Orlando Magic)
- Kemba Walker (Charlotte Bobcats)
- Anthony Davis (New Orleans Hornets)
- Damian Lillard (Portland Trail Blazers)
- Bradley Beal (Washington Wizards)
- Andre Drummond (Detroit Pistons)
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte Bobcats)
- Alexey Shved (Minnesota Timberwolves)
- Dion Waiters (Cleveland Cavaliers)
- Tyler Zeller (Cleveland Cavaliers
This is the second-straight year that rookies and sophomores will be mixed together on teams. Turner Sports analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal will serve as general managers of the respective squads and will select their teams live on TNT tomorrow, Feb. 7 at 4 p.m. PT. After the teams are selected, fans will be able to vote online for their starting lineups, which will be announced the night of the game taking place Friday, Feb. 15 in Houston, TX.