Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Heat already had three players in the NBA All-Star game and two players in the Three-Point Contest. Thursday, the Heat added another player to the All-Star Weekend festivities.
Heat point guard Norris Cole was added to the list of 20 eligible players for the Rising Stars Challenge, which used to be the battle of rookies and sophomores in the NBA.
While Cole has been having a phenomenal rookie season and become a key contributor off the Heat’s bench, the real reason the NBA added Cole was so they could also add rookie phenom Jeremy Lin of the New York Knicks.
Lin didn’t hit his prime until after the initial pool of 18 players was announced for the Rising Stars Challenge. So, the NBA added Cole and Lin to the roster in order to capitalize on the ongoing “Super Lintendo” madness in New York.
The format for the Rising Stars Challenge will be to have two teams, one headed by Charles Barkley and the other by Shaquille O’Neal. Barkley and O’Neal will select the players for their team, a la playground sports, then the game will be played.