Blake Griffin Leads All-Star Weekend’s Rising Stars

We all know Blake Griffin is a rising star, but today it was announced the All-Star starter is one of 18 chosen for the 2012 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star weekend in Orlando.

The Rising Stars Challenge is a switch on the former Rookie/Sophomore game, though it was still voted on by assistant coaches. Now, they’ll be mixed together with Charles Barkley and Shaq choosing and coaching the teams. Each squad gets nine guys.

Here are the players on the list:

Other second-year players: DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento), Landry Fields (New York), Paul George (Indiana), Gordon Hayward (Utah), Greg Monroe (Detroit), Tiago Splitter (San Antonio), Evan Turner (Philadelphia), and John Wall (Washington).

The rookies are led by No. 1 pick Kyrie Irving of Cleveland, and joining him will be Ricky Rubio (Minnesota), MarShon Brooks (New Jersey), Brandon Knight (Detroit), Kawhi Leonard (San Antonio), Markieff Morris (Phoenix), Tristan Thompson (Cleveland), Kemba Walker (Charlotte), and Derrick Williams (Minnesota).

I think I can speak for a majority of NBA fans when I say, please let Rubio and Griffin be on the same team.

Who did the assistant coaches leave off?

The Challenge’s draft is Feb. 16, on NBA TV at 7 p.m. ET, with the game on Feb. 24.