One thing you can certainly say about the NBA's Rising Stars Challenge is that it certainly exists. The annual game that pits some of the best rookies and sophomores in the league was played this evening. It used to be a battle betwixt the rookies and the sophomores, but now TNT dudes pick teams and then sit around and watch them play. This year, Grant Hill, the former Piston, and Detroit's own Chris Webber were the GMs.
The Rising Stars Challenge is like the regular All-Star Game, but with even less defense and more lethargy and chicanery. The game gets as close to nihilism as hoops can get, but usually some fun stuff happened, and this year it was mostly brought by Dion Waiters and Tim Hardaway Jr., who used to play at Michigan. It was a big year for Michigan and the Rising Stars Challenge, and I've even been burying the lede at this point. Team Hill beat Team Webber 142-136. The MVP of this game? The Pistons' own Andre Drummond.
Drummond didn't do anything as dramatic as Waiters and Hardaway, who scored 31 and 36 points respectively. Drummond had 30 points, but where he really drew his value was his 25 rebounds. Nobody else had more than eight, and the 25 boards was a Rising Stars record. Also, he went 6-for-8 on free throws. If only he could do that in games that count.
Anyway, congratulations to Drummond. He didn't get to play in this game last year, because of his injury. So it was nice for him to get this chance. Hopefully he will be in the regular All-Star Game soon. Perhaps as soon as next year.