With Team USA winning the 2019 Rising Stars Challenge 161-144, these are a couple takeaways after watching the game:
- The NBA has talent for the upcoming years
Looking at the rosters for both teams, you see talent written all over it. With players from Team World like Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic, Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons (who played as the shooting guard position for Team World) and Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton, as well as players from Team USA like Boston Celtics shooting Jayson Tatum, Los Angeles Lakers power forward Kyle Kuzma, and Utah Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell, the NBA has plenty of talent for many the years coming and will continue to define the talent of the players for the future.
Every year, the bar gets set higher for those who get selected to the annual Rising Stars game and, seeing players who did not have much playing time in the prior game get a chance to step into the spotlight and display their talent to the world, and they step up t0o the spotlight to perform to our expectations that we expected, plus more. For next years Rising Stars challenge, look to see college players like Duke Blue Devil small forward/power Zion Williamson and small forward R.J. Barrett to be selected to the Rising Stars game and set the bar higher than it was this previous game.
2. The dunks get better and better
Just when you thought that dunks could not have been better than they could be, just look at this years NBA Rising Stars game. You saw players like Atlanta Hawks power forward/center John Collins take the ball up the court and throw an alley-oop off the glass to himself towards the end of the second quarter, as well as the “Atlanta Connection”, with Collins finishing an amazing 360 alley-oop coming off a precise pass from Atlanta Hawks point guard Trae Young a little over halfway into the third quarter. Dunks like these get noticed by the younger generation who want to get into the NBA and those who did not the game, as they look to innovate and create new dunks that we thought would never happen to display to the public. Look for the dunks to get more creative and out of this world insane as Rising Stars games come in the future.
Personally, a player who stood out to me at the end of the game was Trae Young of Team USA. Though he did now win the Rising Stars MVP, he had the most complete game and had a case why he should have. Playing 24 minutes in the game, he scored 25 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, almost getting a triple double in the NBA Rising Stars game, which has never been achieved in this game before. If you ask me, Young deserved to win over the MVP because in the end, numbers do not mean anything unless you work as a team, which something that Young did.