Originally written February 16, 2012 on Waiting For Next Year:
Charles Barkley was impressed enough with Cavaliers’ rookie Kyrie Irving to select him over Jeremy Lin, Ricky Rubio and John Wall just to name a few. Barkley and Shaq are the honorary GMs for the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star weekend. Instead of the rookie vs sophomore format of the past, TNT’s big men mixed it up by drafting two teams of mixed rookies and second year players. Shaq selected Blake Griffin first overall leaving the board wide open for Charles Barkley who took the 19 year old Irving and added this about the selection-
“It wasn’t very difficult [to pass on Jeremy Lin] to be honest because [Lin's] only been playing for a week and it’s been a fantastic week,” Barkley said. “But Kyrie Irving is terrific and he’s going to hand it to [Lin] and if Ricky Rubio wants some…he can come get some too.”
Fellow Cavaliers’ rookie Tristan Thompson was selected by Shaq and will play against his teammate. Team Chuck Kyrie Irving – Cleveland Cavaliers (Rookie) DeMarcus Cousins – Sacramento Kings (Sophomore) Paul George – Indiana Pacers (Sophomore) Derrick Williams – Minnesota Timberwolves (Rookie) MarShon Brooks – New Jersey Nets (Rookie) John Wall – Washington Wizards (Sophomore) Gordon Hayward – Utah Jazz (Sophomore) Tiago Splitter – San Antonio Spurs (Sophomore) Kawhi Leonard – San Antonio Spurs (Rookie) Evan Turner – Philadelphia 76ers (Sophomore) Team Shaq Blake Griffin – Los Angeles Clippers (Sophomore) Jeremy Lin – New York Knicks (Sophomore) Ricky Rubio – Minnesota Timberwolves (Rookie) Greg Monroe – Detroit Pistons (Sophomore) Markieff Morris – Phoenix Suns (Rookie) Kemba Walker – Charlotte Bobcats (Rookie) Landry Fields – New York Knicks (Sophomore) Norris Cole – Miami Heat (Rookie) Brandon Knight – Detroit Pistons (Rookie) Tristan Thompson – Cleveland Cavaliers (Rookie)

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