The NBA changed its format for what used to be known as the Rookie Challenge for NBA All-Star weekend in 2012 in Orlando. Rather than first-year players battling second-year players, the new Rising Stars Challenge will feature teams picked from a pool by general managers Charles Barkley and Shaquille O`Neal.
The duo picked their teams on Thursday on TNT on 'Inside the NBA,' and Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers was picked first by Team Shaq, followed by Kyrie Irving to Team Barkley. The newest NBA sensation Jeremy Lin was a wild card addition to the pool by Kenny Smith, and added to Team Shaq is the third pick.
Griffin and John Wall were on the same team last year in the Rookie-Sophomore Challenge, and produced this gem:
Griffin scored 14 points in the Rookie Challenge in 2011 in the most efficient way possible, on seven slam dunks.
To talk about Griffin and the Clippers, head on over to Clips Nation.