NBA All-Star festivities started Friday Night in Cleveland with the Rising Stars Challenge. In the challenge this year, there were 1st-year players (rookies), 2nd-year players (sophomores) and four G-League Ignite players stepping up to do battle.
The 2022 Clorox Rising Stars rosters were determined through a draft pool conducted by 75th Anniversary Team members and Rising Stars coaches. They were divided into four teams coached by NBA legends Rick Barry, Gary Payton, Isiah Thomas, and James Worthy. Cavs players Evan Mobley and Isaac Okoro were on team Rick Barry the Rising Stars challenge tournament winners.
Saturday night, Cavs Stars Evan Mobley, Darius Garland, and Jarrett Allen represented the Cavs as a three-man unit in the NBA Skills Challenge. The Cavs had to face a fierce Antetokounmpo squad featuring Giannis Antetokounmpo, Alex Antetokounmpo and Thanasis Antetokounmpo. In addition, they were also up against a rookie squad in Cade Cunningham, Josh Giddey and Scottie Barnes. In the final round, it came down to the wire between the Cavs and the Rookies, but the Cavs were victorious. In ‘Steph’ Curry-like fashion, Evan Mobley sunk a half-court shot to win the challenge for his team on his first try.
Then Sunday Night, Garland and Allen represented the Cavs in the All-Star game on Team LeBron. Again, their youth, enthusiasm and most of all talent were on display during the game.
Garland was lightning quick up and down the floor showing off his speed, court vision with precision passing and range from beyond the arc. Allen held his own as well, catching alley-oops, crashing the boards and protecting the rim.
The game ended when LeBron James hit a fadeaway jumper to seal the deal, giving his team the W over team Durant 163-160. However, Garland and Allen did the little things for their team (even for an All-Star game) to help Team LeBron secure the win.
Darius finished his first ASG scoring 13 points, dishing out three assists, and having two steals. Jarrett contributed 10 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots in his ASG debut.
One legend was particularly impressed by the play of the Cavs this season, Ervin “Magic” Johnson. During an event for “NBA Cares,” he pulled Darius Garland to the side to tell him about his thoughts on the Cavs squad. He stated, “Y’all gone have a long season! And Y’all got everything. That’s the crazy thing! And every man is so young! That’s what I like. (Y’all) got a chance to keep this thing rolling!”
Okoro, Mobley, Allen and Garland put the world on notice. We hope this weekend was just the encouragement the Cavs need. They look to finish the season strong and hopefully have home-court advantage in the playoffs. The East is stacked, but Cleveland is full of winners, just as the Cavs showed this weekend!
Photo Courtesy of Cleveland Cavs Instagram Page.