The pressure for David Stern to add the NBA’s newest sensation to this year’s All-Star festivities were immense and for a while it looked like the commisioner wasn’t caving on his stance to not add Jeremy Lin to any of the weekend’s lineups.
But guess what? The pressure burst Stern’s pipes on this one.
Jeremy Lin will play in the Rising Stars Challenge. The New York Knicks point guard was added Thursday to the roster of players for the Feb 24th game in Orlando. The Rising Stars challenge, formerly known as the Rookie/Sophomore game, is still a game with just the Rookies and the Sophomores but instead of them playing against each other, they’re placed in a pool to be picked from by two team captains whom in this case are Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley.
Shaq took Lin with the third overall pick after starting with the Clippers’ Blake Griffin. Barkley then took Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving with the second pick.
Lin will also play a role in Sprite Slam Dunk Contest. Knicks rookie Iman Shumpert, and Lin’s teammate, who is one of four dunk-contest entrants alongside Houston Rockets forward Chase Budinger, Indiana Pacers swingman Paul George and Minnesota Timberwolves rookie Derrick Williams, will be enlisting Lin to “assist” him in a manner similar to the help 2011 champion Blake Griffin got from then-Los Angeles Clippers teammate Baron Davis.
And then on top of all of this, it looks like Lin will also be part of the Haier Shooting Stars competition. For those unfamiliar with this event, it involves an NBA player, an NBA legend, and a WNBA player taking shots all over the basketball court, culminating with each team trying to nail a halfcourt fling.
Lin broke onto the scene a little over a week ago and he has never looked back. He has broken several NBA records for the past week and a half, including scoring 136 points in his first five starts, most by an NBA player since the merger with the ABA in 1976-77.
He’s also led the Knicks to a 7-0 record. Without Carmelo Anthony playing in any of those games.