Feb 08

Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley select Rising Stars teams, take Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis with first picks

For the second consecutive season, “general managers” Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley selected the teams for All Star Weekend’s BBVA Rising Stars Challenge from a pool of 20 players. Much like the first try in 2012, the draft was a good idea not necessarily carried out in the best way.

First, though, let’s run down the teams. The draft took place with alternating selections from both TNT analysts, with O’Neal choosing first. He opted to pick Portland Trail Blazers point guard and likely Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard, which was surprising considering that Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Kyrie Irving was pretty obviously the best player on the board. Barkley did not take the opening, however, instead picking New Orleans Hornets rookie big man Anthony Davis. As we all know, the Rising Stars game (aka the Rookie Game, aka the Rookie/Sophomore Challenge) has always been about interior defense.

After the jump, take a look at the rest of the picks, along with brief analysis of the process.