Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Kyrie Irving, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year and a 2013 NBA All-Star, and rookies Anthony Davis of the New Orleans Hornets and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers headline the list of 18 players selected for the 2013 Rising Stars Challenge to be played Friday, Feb. 15, in Houston during NBA All-Star 2013.
Davis, the overall No. 1 selection in the 2012 NBA Draft, is tied for the rookie lead in rebounds (7.6 rpg) and ranks first in blocks (1.8 bpg).
Lillard has won consecutive Kia NBA Western Conference Rookie of the Month awards, and is leading first-year players in scoring (18.1 ppg) and assists (6.6 apg).
The Rising Stars Challenge — televised live nationally on TNT at 9 p.m. ET — features two teams each consisting of nine rookies and sophomores mixed together, drafted from a pool selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches.
Former St. Anthony stars Mike Rosario, Jio Fontan and Chris Gaston were all chosen among the Top 10 picks Wednesday in the draft for the Baloncesto Superior Nacional de Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican professional league, the oldest professional basketball league in the world.
Rosario, a senior shooting guard at Florida, was the No. 3 pick behind Renaldo Balkman and former Nebraska big man Brian Jorge Diaz.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — James White will get the start at shooting guard tonight against the Orlando Magic as Jason Kidd will sit with a sore lower back.
“We got enough talented guys that everybody can step up and fill guys’ spots,” White said Wednesday after shootarond. “That’s what we’ve been doing all year. Guys have been out, Melo’s been out, Raymond’s been out, so guys just gotta step up and play a little better.”
White will start alongside Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler.
“I’m starting him because I think he defends, I think he can make a shot,” coach Mike Woodson said. “He’s athletic enough to switch and do different things defensively. That’s why he’s starting.”
Kidd, who has already missed four games with lower back spasms, sat the second half of Sunday’s win over Atlanta and was originally listed as probable for tonight.
GREENBURGH, N.Y. — With six of the next eight games before the All-Star break coming against teams under .500, the Knicks gave a few players a chance to rest and heal at practice on Tuesday.
Tyson Chandler (neck) and Jason Kidd (back) did not practice but are considered probable for Wednesday’s game against the Magic. Chandler initially injured his neck against Indiana Jan. 10 Amar’e Stoudemire also did not practice (maintenance day) but should play against Orlando as well.
“[Kidd’s] probable, mainly a maintenance day for him, a maintenance day for Amar’e, and Tyson has a little bit of a slight strain, so he is probable as well,” said Knicks Coach Mike Woodson.