Lineups set for NBA Rookie Challenge
New York, NY (Sports Network) – Cleveland Cavaliers guard LeBron James and
Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, the first overall selections in the 2003 and
2002 NBA Draft, respectively, will participate in the NBA’s 2004 Rookie
Challenge during All-Star weekend.
On Tuesday, the NBA announced the 18 players who will participate in the
exhibition game on February 13 at Los Angeles’ Staples Center. The Rookie
Challenge features the cream of the crop from the last two draft classes, with
nine of the best players from the 2002 NBA Draft meeting the top first-year
players in a format that first debuted in 2000.
James’ rookie squad features Carmelo Anthony of the Denver Nuggets, Chris Bosh
of the Toronto Raptors, Udonis Haslem and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat,
Jarvis Hayes of the Washington Wizards, Kirk Hinrich of the Chicago Bulls,
Josh Howard of the Dallas Mavericks and Chris Kaman of the Los Angeles
Yao’s sophomore team is anchored by 2002-03 NBA Rookie of the Year, Amare
Stoudemire of the Phoenix Suns. The big men are joined by James’ teammate on
the Cavaliers, Carlos Boozer, as well as Mike Dunleavy of the Golden State
Warriors, Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs, Marko Jaric of the Clippers,
Ronald Murray of the Seattle SuperSonics, Denver’s Nene, and Tayshaun Prince
of the Detroit Pistons.
This is the fifth year under the current rookie-versus-sophomore format, with
the series tied at two games apiece. The game will be played in two 20-minute
halves, with each team allowed one full timeout and one 20-second timeout per
half. Individual foul totals will be kept, but a player can not foul out. The
18 players were selected by a 11-member panel of former players and coaches.
Last year, Golden State’s Gilbert Arenas earned the Most Valuable Player award
as the Sophomores defeated the Rookies, 132-112.