NBA All-Star Series [Part 4: Rising Stars Challenge]

By Niala Samnarine

August 24, 2013

One of the reasons we love the NBA is because from Draft day to the playoffs, we get to see players evolve. We look forward to the 19-year-old phenoms and rookie record-breakers. Capitalizing on this during the NBA All-Star Weekend gives us the Rising Stars Challenge. 

Today we bring you Part 4 of our NBA All-Star Series including Rising Stars Challenge fun facts, records and our favorite games!

Fun Facts

Known as the Rookie Challenge the name was officially changed to the Rising Stars Challenge just last year (2012)

The first Rookie Challenge was in 1994 and featured ONLY rookie players

After the 1999 lockout the 2000 Rookie Challenge was the first to have a Rookies vs. Sophomores format to include the rookies who weren’t able to play in ’99. 

In 2009, two active NBA players were added to the game’s coaching staff (along with the lead assistant coaches of the NBA All-Star Game)

In 2012 the format changed to where Charles Barkley (Team Chuck) and Shaquille O’Neal (Team Shaq) drafted their teams. 

The 1996 and 2000 Rookie Challenges were the only two contests to go to overtime and was won by the White team and Rookies respectively. 

Rising Stars Records

With the best of both rookie and sophomore players competing against each other in a challenging but friendly game we get to see records made and broken just about every year! 


Kevin Durant, 46 (2009)
Kenneth Faried, 40 (2013)
Russell Westbrook, 40 (2010)
Amar'e Stoudemire, 36 (2004)
Kyrie Irving, 34 (2012)
LeBron James, 33 (2004)


DeJuan Blair, 23 (2010)
Elton Brand, 21 (2000)
Chris Bosh, 14 (2005)
Marcus Fizer, 14 (2002)
Quentin Richardson, 14 (2001)


John Wall, 22 (2011)
Chris Paul, 17 (2007)
Jordan Farmar, 12 (2008)

3 Pointers

Daniel Gibson, 11 (2008)
Kyrie Irving, 8 (2012)

Shooting Percentage

David Lee, 100% (14–14) (2007)

Teams with the most Participants

1. Cleveland Cavalier (15)
2. Boston Celtics (13)
Vancouver Grizzlies/Memphis Grizzles (13) 
4. Los Angeles Clippers (11)
5. Chicago Bulls (10)
New Jersey Nets (10)

Largest Margin of Victory: 41 points (2007)
Smallest Margin of Victory: 2 points (1996)
Average Margin of Victory: 13.3 points

One of the most exciting things about the game is the level of energy and athleticism exhibited by these young and upcoming players. This usually lends to a high scoring and high flying game. Most players are lax on defense and instead focus on putting on an offensive clinic featuring high percentage shooting and memorable dunks. 

Of course there are always a few players who mean business and look to shut down their fellow players on the defensive end as well. All in all, the NBA All-Star Rising Stars Challenge means a spectacle of talent and some of our favorite moments have been born from this night.

Top 5 Favorite Games

5. 1994

1st game = automatically on the list. While this is great criteria to land you on this list, this game also included an incredible lineup with Penny Hardaway (MVP of this contest), Chris Webber, Sam Cassell and other legendary players.

4. 2000 

This overtime game was one of the most entertaining in NBA All-Star history. With incredible passes from Jason Williams (Sacramento) and a rebound record for MVP Elton Brand, this Rookie team victory goes down as one of the best Rising Stars Challenges. Also, it was the first to feature the Rookies vs Sophomores format!

3. 2005

Playing in front of his home crowd, Carmelo Anthony (Denver), led the Sophomores to a 27 point come-from-behind victory. This game’s talented lineup included both Rookies and Sophomores who’s stars are still shining bright in the league today.  

2. 1997

Another star studded lineup that included future Hall of Famers gave us the memorable Kobe Bryant vs Allen Iverson 4th quarter showdown. Iverson went on to win MVP and lead his team to a 5 point victory. 

1. 2004 

When you have a game where LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant are on the court and aren’t the biggest stars of the game, you know you’ve got something special. Amaré Stoudemire set a record with 36 points and 11 rebounds winning him the game and MVP title. This game is one of our favorites because of the level of play and athleticism. One of the most exciting games in the history of the contest, lands in at #1 on our list.

Where will you be when records are broken and stars are made? The NBA All-Star game is more than just one night, it features several amazing events and opportunities to see history. Let QuintEvents help you get there! 



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