The NBA has proven in the past few years that it can figure out ways to improve its All-Star festivities, and has seemingly found a pretty good formula for the All-Star Game itself with the player draft method bringing some intrigue to the selection process, while the Elam Ending format has delivered far more competitive fourth quarters since its berth.
In keeping with its creative stance, and making sub-sets of the Weekend more competitive and captivating, the league organizers announced a change to its Rising Stars competition of the All-Star weekend, unveiling its plan to make it a three-game tournament.
The event, which will take place on February 18 in Cleveland, will feature four teams of seven players out of a pool of 12 rookies, 12 sophomores and four G-League Ignite players squaring off in the mini-tournament, thus replacing the Team World vs. Team USA and rookies vs. sophomores before that format.
The NBA announced today a new format for the 2022 #CloroxRisingStars, which will be played on Friday, Feb. 18, airing at 9:00 PM ET on TNT. #NBAAllStar— NBA (@NBA) January 25, 2022
All the details here ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/tbyhWSIpNb
CLUTCH CHALLENGE TO TWEAK MATTERS
In addition to the tournament, the NBA announced a new Clutch Challenge competition featuring eight players that will take place between the second semifinal and championship game. The format will feature four teams of two players, with the first team having 90 seconds to make five shots from a set location on the court:
“Team 1’s time is then the marker for Team 2. If Team 1’s time is 1:15, then Team 2 will have a 1:15 countdown clock to complete the competition. Each team that establishes a new standard sets the clock for the next team competing, and the fastest finisher will win the Clutch Challenge.”
The pool of NBA players will be chosen by NBA assistant coaches. The pool of Ignite players will be chosen by NBA G League head coaches. Each squad will be coached by a member of the NBA 75 team who will draft his squad ahead of the event. Each team will have an Ignite player on it.
The NBA announced today a new format for the 2022 @Clorox Rising Stars, which will be played on Friday, Feb. 18 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland as part of NBA All-Star 2022.— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) January 25, 2022
Full release ➡️ https://t.co/pXhwYCLdlf
Overview ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/V5JZJwZirZ
CHANGE IS A CONSTANT AND THE NBA HAS BEEN AMENABLE
The Rising Stars contest has undergone multiple changes since its inception in 1994. It was originally called a Rookie Challenge featuring two teams composed solely of first-year players.
Prior to this development, the last change came in 2015 with the Team USA vs. Team World format, with each squad featuring at least three rookies and three second-year players.
One of the biggest additions to the roster for this year’s game is four G League Ignite players.
When the NBA established the G League Ignite in 2020, it was with the goal of making it a viable alternative to college basketball for top high-school prospects. The results paid off in the 2021 NBA draft with two alums—Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga—getting selected among the top seven picks.
The current Ignite roster features several high-profile 2022 draft hopefuls, including Jaden Hardy, Michael Foster Jr. and MarJon Beauchamp.
Time to show 'em what we do!— NBA G League (@nbagleague) January 25, 2022
Four members of #GLeagueIgnite will take part in the 2022 Clorox Rising Stars, a new format announced today by the NBA during @NBAAllStar. They'll be competing in a mini-tournament consisting of three games!
read more: https://t.co/Ar8EzCTN5V pic.twitter.com/jOx1S1gOj9