NBA fans pining for Ricky Rubio to toss an off-the-backboard alley-oop to Blake Griffin may get their wish granted well before the Spanish point guard ever becomes an All Star. Per ESPN, a new format will be implemented for this year’s Rookie-Sophomore Challenge, allowing first and second year players to play on the same team together. Rosters will be selected by “General Managers” Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley, who will draft players from a pool on February 16th.
Point blank, this is one of the NBA’s best decisions I’ve heard in a while. They can already lay claim to having the best All Star festivities out the ‘Big Three’ professional sports, and a decision like this makes everything more entertaining. Everything about it — the potential matchups, the backyard hoops feel, the idea of Shaq and Barkley shit talking each other on live television — is perfect. Of course, the NHL has to be given credit for breaking in the “draft your players” style, as they’ve been using a similar system for their All-Star game the past two seasons. Whatever the case, NBA fans have even more to look forward to this year when the Orlando festivities commence.