The 2022 Rising Stars Game tested out a new, Elam Ending-inspired format with three games decided by target scores. The first game was a joy, as Team Isiah beat Team Worthy, 50-49, thanks to a pair of free throws by Memphis Grizzlies standout Desmond Bane. The second-year star got fouled with his team down by two, then stepped to the line and hit both of his attempts to earn a spot in the final game a little later in the evening.
Neither free throw was particularly easy for Bane. It looked like the pressure might get to him on the first shot, as the ball rattled around before eventually falling through the hoop. In between shots, he faced some trash talk from Tyrese Maxey of the Philadelphia 76ers and Cole Anthony of the Orlando Magic, both of whom wanted to get into his head and knock him out of his rhythm with an eye on one final shot at winning the game.
It didn’t work — Bane drilled his shot from the charity stripe — but Anthony wanted to make sure he struggled with it as much as possible. There is only so much you can do on a free throw, though, but dammit, Cole Anthony was gonna find a way to get in Bane’s head. How? Well, by pulling his dang pants down, that’s how.
"Desmond Bane with ice in his veins!"
— NBA (@NBA) February 19, 2022
This will, one day, work in the playoffs, and I will laugh very hard.