The 2012 Rising Stars Challenge is halfway in the books in Orlando, as the All-Star Weekend event pits teams of freshman and sophomore up-and-coming NBA stars against one another. The teams are coached by Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley, with Team Chuck holding a 77-65 lead at the half.
The score is perhaps a bit surprising, as Shaq's team seems more stocked with big names, notably Blake Griffin and everyone's favorite point guard, Jeremy Lin. In five minutes of play in the first half, Lin is 0-for-1 shooting with one assist, a nifty alley-oop to Griffin in the early going. Kyrie Irving of Team Chuck is the leading scorer so far, with 15 points.
To this point, the Rising Stars Challenge is a hotly-contested and serious affair, with no clowning whatsoever.
Okay, okay. There may be a little bit of clowning.