Friday, February 12, 2010

Rookie Challenge Preview

Tonight marks the 16th annual Rookie Challenge game between the Rookies and Sophomores of the NBA, this is the night for all the league's fresh talent to show off to the world. The Rookies, coached by Nuggets assistant Adrian Dantley, don't have history on their side, the rookies haven't won the game since 2002 when Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, and Jason Richardson were on the team. Top rookie players include Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings and Johnny Flynn. A special assistant coach for the rookie team is former Texas Longhorn and 2008 Rookie of the Year, Kevin Durant. Durant led the sophomores to a 122-116 win last year with an astounding 46 points.
The Sophomores, led by Brook Lopez, Danilo Gallinari, Michael Beasley, and Marc Gasol are coched by NBA legend, and current assistant coach for the Magic, Patrick Ewing. Giving Ewing a hand on the bench is Raptors forward, and Olympic gold medalist Chris Bosh. The sophomores have a very strong team, and are looking to defend their streak of dominance in the game.
The game has a few rule changes that make it more interesting to watch, most notable is the college format time keeping. The NBA four quarters system is abandoned for the game, and the college twenty minute have system is substituted in. Teams are allowed one timeout per half, and player can not foul out, however the bonus is still used.
As a special treat to viewers at home, Miami Heat guard, Dwayne Wade, and Orlando Magic center, Dwight Howard will join the play-by-play announcers as broadcast analysts. Howard will also be an analyst for the first ever NBA Dunk-In contest at half time, the Dunk-In will determine the fourth and final participant for tomorrow Slam Dunk Contest.
Before the Rookie Challenge, the Celebrity All-Star Game will take place, notable players include; Terrell Owens, Mark Cuban, Robert Horry, Chris Tucker, and four Harlem Globetrotters. The teams for the celebrity game are coached by Alonzo Mourning and Magic Johnson. Tonight looks like a great start to All-Star Weekend, and the rest of the events look like they won't disappoint.


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