Image Courtesy of sportingnews.com

Yesterday, on a Friday night, some of the young talents in the league faced off in a very unexpected fashion. In the final game of the mini-tournament, the two winners (Team Isiah and Team Barry) went head-to-head with Cade Cunningham winning the Rising Stars MVP trophy.

Just this season, the NBA changed the format for the Rising Stars Game. Previously, there were only two teams – Team USA and Team World. Now, in honor of the league’s 75th anniversary, there will be 4 different teams coached by some of the 75 greatest players awardees.

Since the beginning of the mini-tournament, the battle between Team Worthy (James Worthy) and Team Isiah (Isiah Thomas) was wild and extremely close.

It was clear to see that these young guys are already giving their all and are very competitive. Team Worthy lost just by 1 point to Team Isiah (49-50). Jalen Suggs almost won the game for Team Worthy, but missed a game-winning free throw, resulting in a huge comeback by Team Isiah. It was an all-around team effort from Team Isiah as they surprised the viewers with their win.

In the following game, between Team Payton (Gary Payton) and Team Barry (Rick Barry), both teams were playing great basketball.

They showed both great offense and great defense against each other. Isaac Okoro was very entertaining to watch, as well as Jae’Sean Tate whose spirit and energy were on a different level. The game was also very close, with Team Barry managing to win only by 2 points (50-48) from a clutch acrobatic lay-up from Jae’Sean Tate.

In the final game of the mini-tournament, the two winners (Team Isiah and Team Barry) went head-to-head. 

The championship game was a nail-biter. Precious Achiuwa showed his competency in scoring as he lead Team Isiah with 12 points. Both teams gave their best, but Team Isiah fell short of Cade Cunningham and Team Barry (20-25). Cade was the first pick of the 2021 draft for a reason. It was obvious that Cade is extremely talented.

The things he could do are unimaginable and he has a very high ceiling. A team of good players like Cunningham, Mobley, Tate, Okoro, Daniels, Sengun, and Vagner playing at a very high level is pretty entertaining to watch. Cade is already showing flashes of greatness with what he could do at both ends of the floor. He can be a great facilitator and does not shy away from clutch situations.

Cade Cunningham, photo courtesy of pistonpowered.com

“Definitely. After watching the first game, we knew everybody was going to compete and get a win, so I’m happy we were able to pull it off.”
– Cade when asked if he knew the intensity level during the event would be high

Other players who also shone in the Rising Stars Challenge were Desmond Bane, Franz Wagner, Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs, and Josh Giddey.

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John Micheal (sometimes called JM or Mike) has been writing various types of professional articles for almost 2 years now. He is an avid sports fan and has been following the NBA since the early 2000s. He also loves playing a lot of video games like DotA 2, Valorant, but MMOs have a special places in JM's heart. Not only is he a huge fan of basketball and video games, he also loves movies and tv shows. He is a huge MARVEL and MCU fan plus he is into a lot of superhero stuff.