Kobe Bryant won't be the only Los Angeles Lakers player enjoying the festivities of All-Star weekend in Toronto. D'Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson have been selected for the Rising Stars Challenge, which is now a USA vs. World exhibition instead of the traditional rookie-sophomore game. Assistant coaches around the league select the 20-total players who will play in the game, and having two of the top 10 American rookies isn't a bad sign for the Lakers, who are trying to rebuild around their young core.
Russell and Clarkson will be joined by Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Jabari Parker, Elfried Payton, Marcus Smart, Karl-Anthony Towns and Rodney Hood. Bojan Bogdanovic, Clint Capela, Nikola Mirotic, Emmanuel Mudiay, Raul Neto, Kristaps Porzingis, Dwight Powell, Andrew Wiggins, Mario Hezonja and Nikola Jokic will represent the world team.
The game airs Friday, Feb. 12 at 9 p.m. ET on TNT, opening up the weekend-long celebration of the NBA with a showcase of some of the top young players in the league. Both young Lakers sound humbled and excited about their selections for the team:
.@Dloading on making Rising Stars: "You see who’s really separating themselves. ... To be listed as one of them is a heck of an experience."— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 27, 2016
Clarkson: "I just want to be great one day, that’s all I work for. I'm not worried about awards. The biggest award I want is a championship"— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) January 27, 2016
It'll be interesting to see what they do with a big stage in a free-flowing game.