Cade named MVP in revamped Rising Stars occasion

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CLEVELAND — The Rising Stars Problem turned the most recent a part of All-Star Weekend to endure a format change, and it was a hit.

The occasion, which options the highest first- and second-year NBA gamers, employed a completely new format this season. Slightly than simply being one sport involving these gamers, like in years previous, there have been 4 seven-man rosters coached by Corridor of Famers Isiah Thomas, Rick Barry, James Worthy and Gary Payton.

Three video games have been performed — two semifinal matchups to 50, and a championship sport to 25, in a nod to the league celebrating its seventy fifth anniversary this season.

And after Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 choose within the 2021 NBA draft, led Workforce Barry to a 25-20 win over Workforce Isiah to win the occasion, he mentioned he was happy with the format change.

“It was a number of enjoyable,” Cunningham mentioned after claiming the occasion’s MVP award. “Nice teammates, nice coaches, nice ambiance … I had fun, for certain.”

All three video games employed the “Elam Ending,” which first got here to All-Star Weekend two years in the past in Chicago when it debuted within the All-Star Sport.

“It felt good,” Rockets guard Jalen Green mentioned after his staff misplaced within the first semifinal when Desmond Bane hit a few free throws to seal it. “It was enjoyable. It was thrilling on the market. We have been simply hooping, taking part in free.”

Whereas the opening moments of the video games have been harking back to previous Rising Stars video games, that are sometimes filled with dunks, 3s and hardly any depth, the brand new format did result in some added spice within the ultimate moments.

When Bane was fouled by Jalen Suggs — who had missed a possible game-winning free throw moments earlier — on the finish of the primary semifinal, he was given a speaking to by each Cole Anthony and Tyrese Maxey earlier than calmly sinking the second to offer his staff the win.

In truth, all three video games in the end ended on free throws — an indication of the type of uncharacteristic protection that was being performed, no less than when the video games have been on the road, all through the evening.

“I like this,” Hornets guard LaMelo Ball mentioned. “I really feel like this was dope. Having one thing new, with the 75 and the 50 and the 25, I really feel prefer it was artistic.”

The evening additionally featured G League Ignite gamers participating within the festivities for the primary time — an extra method for the NBA to focus on its new initiative to get high prospects to skip school and as an alternative spend time within the G League earlier than being eligible for the draft.

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